Saturday, September 26, 2009
  I'm Not Fashionable

Mrs.Obama wore a sleeveless cocktail dress, patterned in taupe, pink and green, accented with a long string of pearls and pearl earrings. She wore a pair of pink patent leather heels and style her hair in a fluffy ponytail.

Mrs. SBY was seated next to Mrs.Obama at the dinner hosted yesterday for G20 spouses, but the report doesn't say whether she was dressed as an ibu in the Indonesian formal style of heavily laquered hair and corsetted clothes as she is in the picture on the left. For some reason the series of formal and informal photos in the Guardian don't include Indonesia's representatives on the world stage.

Still, no matter as I'm not one of those style gurus who has to note every detail of someone else's clobber. Mind you, I did have to to check the meaning of taupe - if you're interested, it's
the colour of moleskin, a greyish brown.
I have one of those frames which aren't catered for by mass-production clothing companies. When I lived in London I would occasionally buy jackets from a chain of shops called High and Mighty, a name which friends thought, satirically I hope, suited me well. I would also frequent jumble (rummage) sales so for a while, in winter, I wore a Czechoslovakian army greatcoat which reached my ankles and occasionally served as a blanket.

I also once found an old RAF (air force) jacket which fitted perfectly although maybe I should have unstitched the ranking stripes on the sleeves. One day on a train in North Wales which passed an RAF camp I found myself to be the highest ranking officer on board.

This is unlikely to happen here in Jakarta. I don't have a uniform and I can rarely find anything that fits. Even triple XXL shirts are too short in the sleeves so I generally stock up on casual shirts when I go to Bali because they're used to Aussie visitors. For work purposes, a number of back street tailors near Jakartass Towers have my measurements and supply my needs quite well, but I do have a perennial problem with shoes.

Strangely, I can find shoes my size easier in Singapore. What is really strange is that they're generally made in Indonesia, possibly by Nike who have sweat shops in Tangerang.

In 1997, Jim Keady, a soccer coach at St. John’s University, said no to taking part in a $3.5 million dollar deal to endorse Nike products because of Nike’s use of sweatshop labor. He was forced out of his job and outcast from the coaching ranks. People told him that he didn’t know what he was talking about, that work in a Nike factory was a “great job for those people.”

In the summer of 2000, he went to find out for himself. To gain a more human perspective on the lives of Nike’s factory workers, Keady and a friend lived for one month in an Indonesian slum on the wages that workers are paid - $1.25 a day. In the process, they encountered the local mafia, intimidation, starvation, football-sized rats, fist-sized cockroaches, raw sewage in the streets, massive burning of toxic shoe rubber, corporate complicity and cover-up.

They discovered the reality of U.S. multinational corporations' labor practices in the developing world and how Nike's cutthroat, bottom-line economic decisions have a profound effect on human lives.

And they've now made a documentary, SWEAT, which includes interviews with Indonesian workers producing for Nike, Adidas, and the Gap, and former Indonesian President, Abdurrahman Wahid.

This being a hotter country than most, I wear a T-shirt around the house. I used to buy them in Bali for the reason stated above but now there is a source closer to home - in Pasar Senen to be precise. They are really good quality, incredibly cheap at Rp.15,000 (c.$1.5) and, as 'Er Indoors respects my wishes, aren't decorated with advertising.

What I try to understand is why they are made in countries such as El Salvador and Nicaragua from cotton grown in the USA, yet end up half way round the world.

Pietra Rivoli, author of The Travels of a T-Shirt in a Global Economy, who hasn't included the carbon footprint of the global chain which produces them, says that the process enables those at the end of the production line to be "liberated by life in a sweatshop."

That is absolute bullshit and, yes, I do feel guilty about wearing 'the fruit of the loom'. That's why you won't see me wearing one outside Jakartass Towers.

Neither will you find me toting a bag emblazoned with Channel, Louis Vuitton, Dolce Gabbana, Versace, Delia Von Rueti, Nilou, Sabbatha, or Bagteria.

According to Indonesian blogger Akhyari, the last four are Indonesian brand which currently known world wide as luxurious life style items.

I wonder, therefore, if they have joined Rainforest Action Network with its Don't Bag Indonesia's Rainforests campaign

The campaign reaches out to fashion and luxury product companies who use paper packaging such as shopping bags that are made of the tree pulp from endangered tropical rainforests in Indonesia. Driven by market demand from the United States, the rapid destruction of Indonesia’s rainforests is causing massive global greenhouse gas emissions, destroying Indigenous communities, threatening unique ecosystems and pushing species like orangutans and Sumatran tigers to extinction.

It's not as if this is new news, but given that it is conspicuous consumption which is the root cause of environmental destruction, any action taken by those who have most to give, but generally don't, is to be applauded, even if it's a mere fashion statement.



1:30 pm
Alien Thoughts from Home

Home Thoughts from Abroad

Interactive World Time

Indonesian Dictionary

Indonesian Acronyms

Indonesian Slang

Learn Indonesian

Currency Converter

Email Me

The WeatherPixie

5 Day Forecast

Get Firefox!

  • West Sumatra Earthquake Aid Agencies
  • Sidoarjo Mud Volcano
  • Reports on Crashes and Sinkings

  • Living in Indonesia
  • Tempo
  • Bugils News
  • Jakarta Post
  • Jakarta Globe
  • Down To Earth
  • Loads of Advice
  • Inside Indonesia
  • Green Indonesia
  • Hobson's Choice
  • Gunung Bagging - New - clamber volcanoes
  • Indonesian Music
  • Indahnesia Online
  • Maps of Indonesia
  • Indonesia For Kids - blog
  • Green Group Links
  • Faces of Indonesia - blog
  • Photos of Indonesia
  • Indonesian Publications
  • International Crisis Group
  • Indonesian Engaged Travel - blog
  • Outside The Indonesian Box - blog
  • Indonesian Corruption Watch
  • News and Events Aggregators
  • Indonesia's Vegetarian Restaurants

  • Living in Jakarta
  • Culture Shock - Jakarta - 'my' book
  • Bataviase - loads of info in Indonesian
  • Rujak.org - for a sustainable Jakarta
  • Jakarta Kid - stories of street kids
  • Jakarta Events - as it says in the title
  • Map of Jakarta
  • Jakarta Nite Out
  • Jakarta Nite Out - for Francophiles
  • Jakarta 100 Bars - as it says in the title
  • Jakarta Java Kini - upmarket magazine
  • Jakarta Urban Blog- as it says in the title
  • Jakarta Green Map
  • Jakarta Daily Photo - as it says in the title
  • Jakarta? Been there!
  • Protecting Jakarta Bay
  • Nightlife - for single guys - check the forums
  • Jakarta Restaurant Reviews - as it says in the title

  • Living in Bali
  • Hector - at Bali Times
  • Bali Spirit
  • Bali Expat Forum
  • Nusa Lembongan News
  • I've Been To Bali Too Blog - defunct but still good stuff

  • Education Matters
  • Education 21
  • Performing Monkeys
  • Yayasan Goodwill International

  • Pre-Independence History
  • 1941-1942
  • A Family Tale

  • Del Boy - my multi-talented co-author
  • Hotel Rimbo - a mate
  • Ethos Travel - Son No.1
  • Indo Fair Traders
  • Organic Vanilla
  • Merdeka Coffee
  • Pekerti Nusantara

  • Indonesian Blogs in English
  • Top Blogs
  • Merdeka - aggregator
  • Elyani - good stuff
  • Therry - good stuff
  • Om'Bak - group thoughts
  • Yosef Ardi - business gossip
  • Treespotter - his serious blog
  • Milk Tea Girl - poems and stuff
  • Bitching Babe - another slice
  • Café Salemba - ekonomi +
  • Enda Nasution - The Guv'nor
  • Aroeng Binang - a neighbour
  • Harry Nizam H. - legal practitioner
  • Ethereal Shards - youthful ponderings
  • Muli's Commune - defunct but good links
  • Isman H. Suryaman - not a 'Fool'
  • Rasyad A. Parinduri - ekonomi
  • Tasa Nugraza Barley - returned from the USA
  • Indonesia Anonymus - infrequent but always good

  • Indonesian Expats
  • Naz - a "12.5% Indonesian" in Norway
  • Bleu - in Malaysia
  • Anita - in Scotland
  • Maya - in Antibes
  • The Writer - in Denmark
  • Spew-It-All - in Australia
  • Jennie Bev - in SF
  • Rima Fauzi - in Belgium
  • Nadia Febina - in Angola
  • Society of Spectacle - in Berlin
  • Overseas Think Tank - for Indonesia
  • Indonesians Living Abroad Forum - as it says in the title

  • Expat Bloggers in Indonesia
  • PJ Bali - oil worker
  • Mat Solo - Malaysian oil worker
  • Jenny Q - an expat wife
  • Dr Bruce - retired teacher in Bali
  • Spruiked - Brett's take on things
  • Indoprism - an expat family
  • Java Jive - original photoblog (now in the Phillipines)
  • Amor Fati - good links
  • Metro Mad - Jakarta Globe columnist
  • Rob Baiton - back in Oz
  • Jakarta Kid - about street kids
  • Green Stump - in Kalimantan
  • Most Curious - née Betty Loves Blogging
  • The Mad Rotter - Henk loves Indonesian music
  • Duncan Graham - journo archives
  • Hardship Posting - more wtf
  • Indonesia Matters - loads of stuff
  • The Opinionated Diner - and NZ music
  • Patrick Guntensperger - has opinions on current issues

  • Selected Aseanist Blogs
  • SARAwho? - Southeast Asia Aggregator
  • Pelf-ism is Contagious
  • Brommel - usually in Indonesia
  • Friskodude - SF travel writer
  • Klong Walking - an Addick in Bangkok
  • Agam's Gecko - musings from Thailand

  • London Blogs
  • Diamond Geezer
  • London Daily Nature Photo
  • London Bloggers Tube Map

  • Other Fave Blogs
  • Aangirfan - who is s/he?
  • Ad Busters - ecological economic sense
  • Samizdata.net
  • Strange Games
  • The J-Walk Blog
  • Environmental Graffiti

  • Charlton
  • Doctor Kish
  • Inspector Sands
  • Forever Charlton
  • Official Charlton site
  • Addickted to Blogs
  • Ex-Charlton forward in Belize

  • I'm an Aging Hippie
  • Man
  • XTC
  • World Changing
  • MoonJune Records
  • Canterbury Sounds

  • My Youth
  • Blackheath
  • Charlton Lido
  • Charlton House
  • Woolwich Ferry
  • Greenwich Park
  • Severndroog Castle
  • Overlapping Memories
  • More Overlapping Memories
  • Map of My Stomping Ground

  • Put Your Feet Up
  • Biscuit of the week
  • 50's British TV Nostalgia
  • Hello Children, Everywhere

  • Enter your Email

    Subscribe with Bloglines

    Locations of visitors to this page


    eXTReMe Tracker

    Listed on BlogShares

    Personal Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

  • May 1998
  • March 2004
  • April 2004
  • May 2004
  • June 2004
  • July 2004
  • August 2004
  • September 2004
  • October 2004
  • November 2004
  • December 2004
  • January 2005
  • February 2005
  • March 2005
  • April 2005
  • May 2005
  • June 2005
  • July 2005
  • August 2005
  • September 2005
  • October 2005
  • November 2005
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • July 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • March 2008
  • April 2008
  • May 2008
  • June 2008
  • July 2008
  • August 2008
  • September 2008
  • October 2008
  • November 2008
  • December 2008
  • January 2009
  • February 2009
  • March 2009
  • April 2009
  • May 2009
  • June 2009
  • July 2009
  • August 2009
  • September 2009
  • October 2009
  • November 2009
  • December 2009
  • December 2013
  • Creative Commons Licence