Sunday 18 August 2019

Can't fool all the people all the time

People who follow me on Instagram at #pearlredmoonart will have noticed I haven’t been posting much lately. That’s because I feel nauseated every time I start scrolling through my feed to see Chinese mass manufacturing businesses using photographs of clothes I’ve made in their online shops. It makes me anxious and upset. Depressed.

the 2 garments of the right are photos of art to wear clothes made by me.

Jacket on the left was made by me.

Another level of distress has been the enormous amount of my precious time I’ve devoted in the last few weeks to trying to bring this to the attention of Paypal, Shopify and Facebook….all to learn that a single individual artisan like me, and all the many others, are so easy to sideline and ignore. The processes we are invited to engage in are a travesty and move with the alacrity of a zombie.

I’ve been writing this blog for almost 10 years and long term readers know without doubt that I am a real person talking about my real life, showing and discussing my textile art and other political issues that interest me.

My overarching concern for most of the decade writing this blog has been about the climate emergency. The life I live has been consciously chosen and constructed to create the most minimal  footprint I can on the ecology of my immediate environment and the larger world.

I don’t manufacture clothing at any scale. Working at my most efficient I might be able to make 2 simple dresses in a working day of 8 hours. My real output is probably more like 3-5 garments a week. In my making I’m using at least 80% recycled used clothes and discarded items that would have gone to landfill. 

When I make a piece of clothing I try to invest in it time, imagination and processes that value add to the item of clothing so that whoever buys it regards it as art to wear. Everything I make is intended to be something special, handmade and unique that the buyer will wear for years, perhaps a lifetime, and not treat as a piece of “fast fashion” or disposable clothing. I don’t make trash clothing and abhor the fast fashion model of business. 

It is unethical and destructive on almost every basis I can think of.

 Heres a list of just a few issues that comes to mind

1)      They steal the creative production of others to enrich a small cabal of business owners
2)      They exploit their workers by under paying and over working them
3)      They create poorly made rubbish fast fashion that customers may only wear briefly then dispose of probably within a few months
4)      They pollute their own local environment though the careless use of resources, like electricity, fuel to send their garbage all over the world, enormous waste of water to manufacture the synthetic fabrics they use and to get them printed…

new dress I made a few days ago

Over the years I have frequently waved my flag as an ethical maker. This is part of why I feel compelled to do everything I can to try to stop Chinese company ChicV in continuing it’s fraudulent activities. If I walked away from this it would be condoning that they can continue scamming purchasers with impunity and wrecking our precious Earth. In the way ChicV have appropriated my work they have instantly subverted every activity I’ve done in a decade to try to live as low polluting as I can. They have taken my creative production, unique art to wear clothes I’ve sometimes spent 40 hours making, and pretended that that item is a picture of their product. They tell potential customers looking at the products for sale in their shops that that is what they are buying. It is a complete and utter fraud.

I am virtually powerless to have any interaction with ChicV that would be taken seriously by them. This is part political, because The Peoples Republic of China doesn’t recognise international copyright laws. They can give me the finger.

So action needs to be taken probably in the USA. Paypal, Shopify and Facebook need to be held to account for facilitating the advertising and mailorder payments of this criminal enterprise. My recent experience with trying to communicate with them and having gotten engaged in the processes they present is that it is a travesty designed to obsfuscate and cause the complainer to throw their hands up in frustration and walk away.

Running a successful campaign to get change is going to need a team of people that can focus. A plan needs to be made. Politicians need to be lobbied and gotten on board. Lawyers with knowledge of international ecommerce and copyright laws are needed to advise. Journalists in the news media and influencers on social media need to advocate loud and far.

Angry people are mobilising in Facebook groups and various forums. We need to get together to formulate a plan of action to get the attention needed.

ChicV and other international fraudsters operating this type of business model must be stopped.

Please discuss….

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