The other night, I walked into my teenage daughter’s bedroom to say goodnight and my eyes-in-the-back-of-my-head alarm went off.
“What is that smell?” I asked. The odor was a bit like fire, petroleum, and toxic chemicals, mixed with an electrical malfunction. Generally bad stuff. Dangerous stuff.
“I’ve been smelling it too,” she said. We both sniffed about but couldn’t find the culprit. I tried not to worry about it too much, since after a check and a hug (the smell wasn’t on her), we determined that nothing was on fire or about to explode.
The next night I walked in and the smell was still there.
“I think it’s my new shoes,” she said, pointing to a pair of cotton Mary Jane–style shoes she’d just purchased from Urban Outfitters. Actually, she’d bought two pair, since it was a 2 for $20 deal. I picked one up, sniffed, and nearly gagged. I actually started coughing and wondered if the strange coughing fit I’d had the night before was possibly connected.
We immediately took both pairs out to the porch to get them out of the house.
I wasn’t going to mention it to you all until I saw on the news this morning about mass faintings in a Cambodian garment factory. Turns out it’s not uncommon. Workers are only paid $100 a MONTH. There’s not much ventilation and I’m sure, as the smell of those shoes attests to, they’re working with tons of toxic sh*t.
This, my dear readers, is exactly why I launched rodales.com. I wanted to create a place where anyone can shop and know that the workers who make the products are treated well. That nature is treated well. And, most important of all, that nothing in that product will harm you or your family. In fact, everything in that product will make you healthier and happier!
We don’t sell shoes yet, but one day…one day.
In the meantime, you’ve got the power to make the world better by how you shop.