Bear with me, because the next paragraph is going to read like advertising copy. There is probably a better way to write it, but I am too tired and steeped in marketing to devise an angle. Here we go...
I knew about eShakti before they offered to send me a dress, because they've garnered a lot of love in the #fatshion community on Tumblr, and probably elsewhere as well. For example: "After playing dress up, I've decided that my eShakti dresses truly are my favorites. They make me feel so posh. My new goal in life is to achieve a salary that provides for a wardrobe full of them." One of the reasons why people love eShakti is that they offer a full range of sizes, far beyond what's available from most retailers. Hooray for plus-size empowerment! In addition, eShakti provides customization, which is free the first time you order and costs $7.50 going forward.
So, I made two bad decisions regarding this dress. The first one was ordering a standard size instead of customizing
Anyway, I feel comfortable collaborating with eShakti because of this section from their "about the brand" page:
"There have been concerns from some of our customers after the disaster that occurred in Bangladesh recently in an apparel-making unit. [...] No one who is not eligible to be employed under the Indian Government's minimum age policy is ever employed by our manufacturing units. The Indian government has been progressive, and with India's increasing affluence, they have been raising the minimum wage stipulation over time. And wages paid by eShakti are typically 50% to 100% over the Indian government's minimum stipulation. [...] The people who work to make eShakti's clothes are typically the main wage-earners of their families, and provide for them, including education for their children."
This is by no means perfect. After all, one must consider India's position on child labor, according to USDOL:
"Legislation to prohibit work for children under the age of 14 and to proscribe hazardous work for children under 18 has been introduced in Parliament but has yet to be passed. The worst forms of child labor continue to exist in many sectors, particularly in dangerous activities in agriculture and the manufacturing of goods in the informal economy."
I'm not about to become an expert on Indian labor statutes, but I feel confident guessing that there are other shortcomings. On the bright side, I also feel confident stating that 1) eShakti knows that at least some of their customers care about ethical manufacturing and 2) they are moving in the right direction.
I am in love with the absurdly bright pinkitude of this jacket. (But can someone tell me how to mitigate that in Photoshop?) I feel like a hyper-saturated version of Amy Poehler in Mean Girls:
Velour sweatsuits are the height of style. Duh.