The Politics of Purchasing Power

The Sultanate of Brunei has announced that members of the LGBT community will face death by stoning effective today…. WHAT THE F*CK kinda backwards a** world do we live in where a country announces this AND THE INTERNATIONALLY COMMUNITY DOESN’T AUTOMATICALLY SANCTION THE SHIZNET OUTTA THE SULTAN. Just FYI @all world politicians, targeted sanctions exist and they work without punishing the constituents of the shitty rulers. 

Now, I know that this law has been added under Sharia which means that it will target the Muslim majority of Brunei the most, but that doesn’t mean that the homophobic law and teachings that will result from this law will not have a trickle-down effect throughout the rest of Brunei’s society.

So, you may ask why I (a fashion blogger), and talking to you about the politics of a small South-East Asian country, surrounded by East Malaysia and has really no impact on your daily life. Welp, for one I’m a human with a soul and I care about Human Rights, and two because if you like to travel then you need to know that the Sultan of Brunei owns various luxury hotels throughout the world and if you stay at one of his hotels you are supporting him and his homophobic laws.

There is also a broader point to be made here, that we consumers have the ability to protest in a way that has a similar effect to a targeted sanction. 

Targeted Sanction: The sanction of a particular individual or corporation, usually involves the freezing of assets, halting imports from that corporation, taxing the corporation, seizing of foreign assets, travel bans etc.

We consumers can stop buying/using/sharing/photographing/going to/or staying at places where the owners, designers, corporate policies and investors are not upholding human rights/environmental standards/ corporate social responsibility/ are bad people/ do bad things/ support horrible policies etc. etc.

Consumers have purchasing power, this means that we can choose what to spend money on and in the consumer retail market we have unfettered access to pick and choose whatever we want. So it’s time to put our money where our mouths are like I’ve already mentioned in my Dolce & Gabanna piece and STOP buying from companies and people who DO NOT support human rights.

The Sultan of Brunei owns MANY luxury hotels:

Hotel Bel Air (Los Angeles)

The Beverly Hills Hotel (Los Angeles)

The Dorchester (London)

45 Park Lane (London)

Coworth Park (Ascot)

Le Meurice (Paris)

Hotel Plaza Athenee (Paris)

Hotel Eden (Rome)

Hotel Principe di Savoia (Milan)

By staying at any one of these, you are contributing to a homophobic man’s power and wealth, who has the ABILITY to make laws based off of his personal preferences.

I could make a similar list for Donald Trump, and repeat that by staying at a hotel owned by this man is contributing to his power and wealth, and this man has the ability to shape and influencer American Politics for decades to come.

This list could also be adapted to clothing brands that manufacture in sweatshops, use child labour, have unsafe factories, contribute to the environmental crisis facing the world.

This list could be adapted for restauranteurs who are also caught up in black market dealings etc.

My point is, that YOU a consumer, can choose who to support with what you buy, where you stay, where you dine, and even where you take pictures (rip pictures in front of the Beverly Hills Hotel). 

So, I ask you to join together and use our purchasing power, to 1) send a message to corporations that we are not here for their shit corporate policies regarding the environment, labour standards and environmental impact and 2) send a message to individuals who are against human rights, equal rights, and are overall proven bad people that they will no longer be able to profit from consumers so long as they continue.

What does this have to do with fashion?

It’s pretty simple:

Don’t buy from companies with questionable labour standards, ethical standards, environmental policies, no corporate social responsibility and who don’t align with your morals.

Don’t take your outfit photos infront of places owned by these people or corporations.

Don’t support influencers who accept brand deals from these people and corporations.

DO support your local, homegrown companies.


DO support local farmers markets and buy products grown in your province/state/territory/country

DO take your outfit photos in beautiful places that support human rights and good environmental standards

DO wear, promote and work with brands who have good ethics and morals

DO support influencers who CHOOSE to support any of the above Do’s.

Purchasing power isn’t a sprint, it is a conscious choice that you have to make every single day, but know that you aren’t alone and that your purchase/voice/vote/ does make a difference.

xoxo Steph


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