Nor are the difficulties all connected with the fabric itself. The housekeeper who rises to the full measure of her responsibility will ask not only whether she as a purchaser is treated fairly in the manufacture of the cloth and making of the garment; she will ask under what conditions was the work done upon it carried on. Was sweated labor employed under bad conditions during excessively long days of toil at wholly inadequate wages? Were sanitary conditions good? Was there a working day limited by statute, and a reasonably adequate wage paid? Until recently, so little realization of the purchaser's true responsibility has been developed that not infrequently the attempt to arouse it has been made by appealing to her fear. The earlier "sweat shop" laws were secured partly by alarming the well-to-do mother with regard to the dangers to which she exposed her own children when she bought goods made in uninspected and perhaps infected homes. That appeal is relatively much less urged today, when it is recognized that however safe one may keep one's own child from the infection which exists in the home where another child suffers, one cannot keep one's own heart free from pain and discontent so long as any children are forced to grow up in homes crowded with work, deprived of maternal care, while a scanty and inadequate support is obtained from the mother's work. Thus the purchase of little garments for Johnny and Jenny, and of larger ones for Tom and Alice, becomes a complicated problem, involving not only color, size, and shape, but the place of making, the quesgiving fitting dignity to the bodies of children in their own minds, and in adequately meeting the demands for beauty and for reasonable conformity with the practices of those about her.
1. (a) What principles do you follow in determining what garments you will provide for your daughters who are between twelve and seventeen years old? (6) For your sons? (c) For your daughters between two and twelve? (d) For your sons? (e) For the little children under two?
2. Having determined the number and kind, what decides the question of buying ready-made, or making at home?
3. If you buy ready-made garments, what information do you demand with reference to the conditions under which they are made?
4. Do you ask any questions as to the conditions of work prevailing in the shop where they are sold?
5. Discuss the relative merits of wool, cotton, silk, and linen for garments to be worn next to the person.
6. What connection is there between the covering of the body and the dietetic needs of the body?
7. What factors do you consider constitute "a bargain" in buying clothing?
8. What part do you take in securing better conditions for the work people who handle your clothing before you buy it?
9. In what ways is it possible to express individuality in clothing without striking disregard of prevailing styles?
Sex and Society. W. I. Thomas. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
The Theory of the Leisure Class, Chapters I-VII. T. B. Veblen. New York: The Macmiltan Co.
The Child in the City, "The Clothing of Children." Nellie Crooks. Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy.
The Cost of Living, Chapter VII (Domestic Service). E. H. Richards. New York: J. Wiley & Sons.
The Standard of Living among Workingmen's Families in New York City. R. C. Chapin. New York: Charities Publication Committee.
Some Ethical Gains through Legislation. Florence Kelley. New York: The Macmillan Co.
The Woman Who Spends. B. J. Richardson. Boston: Whitcomb & Barrows.
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Publications, National Consumers' League. Mrs. Florence Kelley, Secretary, 105 East 22d Street, New York City.
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