Learn. Choose. Change.

I pledge to learn the true cost, to people and the planet, of what I eat, wear, drive, use and do every day. I choose to consume justly and to increasingly change my habits.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Just Listen: This Man Makes Beautiful Suits

My husband and I have been fortunate enough to find jobs on the island where we live, which means we do not have to deal with the headaches of commuting by ferry to the mainland, and then driving in gridlock to get to work.  Except for this week.  I have recently taken a new job in our school district and had to complete training in Olympia every day this week.  The commute works out to about a three and a half hour round trip.  I. can't. believe. there. are. people. who. do. this. on. a. daily. basis.

However, ever the optimist, I have searched for the silver lining in my situation this week:  1) I got to explore a city I had never visited before during lunchbreaks, 2) I finished knitting a hat for my soon to be adopted nephew while riding the ferry, and 3) I had lots of uninterrupted time to listen to NPR.  Usually, I am lucky if I can squeeze in two hours a week of NPR, and even then it is always broken up by the short people in my house requesting my assistance in one way or another.

This morning during Planet Money, of all features, they played an interview with Peter Frew, a tailor in New York City who hand-sews custom made suits.  Even though Frew's suits are certainly a luxury item, retailing between four and five thousand dollars each, he himself does not make more than fifty thousand a year (which is stretched thin in an expensive city) and could never afford to buy one of his own suits.  Frew confessed he cannot even afford to take the time to make himself a suit (much like my organic farmer friends who cannot afford to eat their own produce).

I appreciated that the interview certainly gave the listener a better understanding of what goes into handmade goods, and provided the perspective that although the final product may have a large price tag, the artisan is not getting rich off of the sale.  When asked why he doesn't go into some other business, Frew replies he still gets a lot of satisfaction from every suit he makes, and at the end of the day, he just loves what he does - a very inspiring answer for us all.

1 comment:

  1. I was completely drawn into this story too. Listening to him talk about his work truely demonstrated that each suit was a work of art for him.