Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Now we know for sure that green consumption -- and its for-profit cousin, greenwashing --has gone mainstream. Mattel has announced a collection of "eco-friendly" accessories for Barbie, sold exclusively through Toys "R" Us. The Barbie BCause" line uses scrap fabric and trims that would otherwise be trash and turns them into patchwork bags and other accessories. Richard Dickson, Senior Vice President of Marketing, explains: Barbie BCause is for eco-conscious girls who believe that being environmentally-friendly is the right thing to do, and we are thrilled to give extra meaning and extra style to what was once just extra Barbie doll fabric.

Here's a thought: Instead of buying Barbie BCause merchandise for a unrecyclable, over-packaged, sweatshop made plastic caricature of a woman, the eco-conscious girl could make her OWN totes and pillows out of fabric scraps. If she has naked dolls (and all of mine were bald and naked within weeks of acquisition), she could even make clothes for her dolls out of her own old T-shirts, pj's and other clothing. Since Mattel claims
they developed the line to educate a younger audience on the importance of becoming more eco-friendly, I know they'd think this would be a great idea!


CP said...

Barbie was exotic and coveted, in a place without stores. I believe that Barbies were bought in places like

Lethbridge, Canada, Denver, Minneapolis, Hanford, WA (sight of nuclear power, etc.)

My parents said no to mail order Barbies for us according to a mix of dignity and pre-feminist ideas about the exaggerated faux beauty of Barbie.

My dots did not have them for similar reasons and neither did their Mt. Rainier/Brookland, DC, twas easy, in a way.

Sewing lessons are not easily had, as you know, Jo...let's start the DIY network of kid-to-kid-mentored sewing, in our sp. time.

Jo Paoletti said...

My parents also nixed Barbie; I think it was that the very first ones really did look like French hookers. And yes, I'm all for showing kids how to make stuff, because making stuff is cooler than having stuff. (Alfred North Whitehead said so.)

jane said...

I was allowed to have one Barbie (sometime in the late 50's; her face did have that French hooker look)but my mother absolutely vetoed the idea of buying her any clothes. She did buy patterns for her and gave me left-over fabric pieces, and thus I learned to sew.

Chase said...

Making things is certainly more pleasurable and rewarding than buying them, in general. I didn't have any Barbies growing up, but my sister did, and all of them were naked and headless within months after she got them. I don't know why, though.