In honor of the black dress #TimesUp movement at the 2018 Golden Globes, Connie Britton opted to wear a black sweater that said: “Poverty is Sexist.” It was a unique take on the theme and directly spoke to issues (poverty, sexism) that the Time’s Up movement is purported to be about. However, when people realized that her Lingua Franca sweater cost $380, they were unhappy.
“I understand your point however, sell it for $10 bucks and you’ll get a lot more of us ordinary people to buy it and you’ll probably raise a lot more money in the long run. Most of us who want to help don’t have $380 to spend on a sweater but certainly have 5 or 10 bucks,” wrote one Twitter user. “For me it’s the fact that it speaks about poverty…It’s a beautiful sweater, but a shirt for $20-30 bucks would have meant more to me with the same words…,” said another.
We understand the apparent irony of a $380 shirt bearing a message about poverty, but the reason why some shirts cost $20 is because they are NOT ethically made and because they rely on factory workers who live in poverty.
As Britton and several other Twitter users explained, paying someone a fair wage for their labor and skill to create a hand-embroidered shirt like this is not cheap.
“For those concerned with the price of my Globes sweater I just don’t think a $5000 gown would have added to the conversation in the same way. And @linguafrancanyc who designed it, inspired by @ONECampaign, is donating $100 of each purchase to @camfed,” Britton tweeted.
Several Twitter users have defended the shirt as well.
The designer of this shirt told the Los Angeles Times that “we have over 45 women sewing [the sweaters’ slogans by hand], all from diverse backgrounds, and many are immigrants to the U.S.”
The purchase of this shirt supports a business that pays women an ethical living wage for their work in its creation. You can’t do that with a $10 shirt.