OOTD: Your Rose Is In Bloom

February 11, 2011

Jacket: H&M
Skirt: BB Dakota
Top: Charlotte Russe

No, this post is not about Seal's 90s hit "Kiss From A Rose" even though I took a line out of the song. 

This post, however, is about roses, the perennial flower of choice for Valentine's Day. I can't say I've ever really *loved* roses but I do want to highlight the story behind this thorny symbol of love.

Sophia's tweet earlier in the week inspired the subject of this post. And the basis of my post today stems from a Vanguard episode titled "Blood Roses and Deadly Diamonds" I saw nearly two years ago.

For those of you who are unaware, about 250 million roses are sold in anticipation of Valentine's Day every year around the world and about two-thirds of those roses originate in Colombia. Furthermore, the U.S. is the recipient of some 90 percent of Colombian-exported roses.

To summarize for those of you who can't watch the episode, Vanguard journalists went to Colombia to investigate the condition under which these roses are produced. And what they found was startling. The 80,000 impoverished Colombian women working at an average wage of less than 50 cents an hour are the victims of the 8-billion-dollar industry.

The majority of rose fields of Colombia do not meet the requirement for a safe working environment. These underpaid women come in contact daily with high concentrations of pesticides and a study suggests that the mental and physical health of the offspring of rose workers are at a high risk for impairment. Some workers were "advised" to undergo tubal ligation before they can be hired. It's clear from the episode that the welfare of these women were placed behind the profit that can reaped from roses.

Furthermore, earlier this month the Spanish police uncovered a 71-kg shipment of cocaine mixed in with a shipment of roses. This incident is not singular by any means and is part of a chain of incidences that speak to the tangled web of Colombian drug trade and rose export.

And no, I am not bitter because bf once again abandoned our V-Day plans. I am a low-maintenance girl plus V-Day is totally just another hallmark holiday (ok, maybe I am a little bitter). I did buy myself a load of chocolate and plan to eat them all on valentine's day while I watch romcoms on repeat.

In place of clothes today, I would also like to bring awareness to this really meaningful charity Brother's Brother Foundation. I am picky with the charities I donate to (I don't like to donate to charities with a lot of religious emphasis or a really large one that is burdened by administrative constraints).

Brother's Brother is an BBB Accredited Charity, received four stars on Charity Navigator, one of the 200 best U.S. charities as chosen by Forbes, and Yahoo's best charity.

I just made a small donation of $25 today and for every person who contacts me to tell me that they too donated to this charity (any amount, could be a penny or a million, and you don't have to tell me the amount you donated) I'll pledge another dollar to this cause. I'll donate up to $100 (so an additional $75 to my existing donation).

To donate: go here

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  1. Oh that blazer is cute!!! I want to see it buttoned! The sleeves look long or is that just me?

  2. awww elle that is sad to hear about those poor working conditions for stupid roses, good thing i don't like flowers and particularly roses. v-day is a stupid holiday. i told my bf not to get me anything because i don't feel like getting him anything either. lol.

  3. When you look into any industry, there will always be some group that's marginalized. It's a sad reality and I hope it changes.

    As for V-day, I was never really a fan and I've had my share of cheesy, manufactured holiday accoutrements. But true gifts from the heart are better than anything that you can purchase from the store! =)

  4. I hadn't heard about roses and Colombia. It saddens me but I can't say I'm surprised. Sorry to hear that you and bf won't be spending VDay together =/ I will be, but I doubt we'll be doing anything special. We're just so lazy. And no roses for me either -- at least not real ones. Maybe a virtual one, haha.

  5. Wow! Thanks for sharing the Columbia story!

    Like you and Ping...not much of a Valentine's person, either. I am so glad it falls on Monday, and not a Friday or Saturday night...which is when we usually go out to eat. I just don't like being around couples on that night. Just annoys me.

  6. ohhh i really like your skirt in this OOTD.. it's so pretty with the gold thread :)

    ps. is that a pink chanel sevruga woc in your banner? if so we're chanel twins.. i have the green sevruga woc :)

  7. Wow Elle, crazy story, never knew that! I'm not into Valentine's AT ALL it makes no sense to me, and I don't like that it makes single people feel bad. If we had kids then maybe I'd get them heart shaped cookies or something but other than that it's just any other day!

  8. Wow, the roses... I rarely celebrate Vday.. I mean, it's not even that special because millions of others are celebrating on the SAME exact day. What's the fun in that? Plus, everything in stores are pink & red. Kinda got boring for me!! And it's so kind of you to donate to a charity you believe in. : )

    xx The Little Dust Princess

  9. Wow! Thanks for enlightening us with the info about roses. So sad! I love how you are low maintenance. Hubby and I are just having a simple dinner at home. Happy Valentine's Day to you!

  10. @The Girlie Blog happy valentine's day to you too! :)

    @The Little Dust Princess hehe, actually, I don't mind too much pink and red. :) It's just once a year. I want to see you in all pink and red, I think that would be so interesting!

    @curls-and-pearls awww, whoever end up being your kids are so lucky. I want some heart shaped cookies darn it!

    @lisa Hi Lisa, the WOC I have in the banner is actually just a seasonal pink quilted one. I really wanted a sevruga and was SO close to getting one last year.

    @Michelle definitely agree. I hate when I am around too many couples...it's just too much pda!

    @Cee well, you are getting a huge bouquet of virtual flowers from me. :)

    @Stylepint That's true but I think we can at least take steps toward rectifying those problems. I completely agree that the commercialization of holidays has really devalued them.

    @Ping lol I can sympathize. I never know what to get!

    @Really Petite I'll get a picture later. :)

  11. This is such a darling post my dear! I'm not a *huge* fan of roses but I have to admit hearing about the tragedy involved with them is a little crushing. Kind of like when I found out about the association with diamonds, not a huge fan and would like to think of other alternatives if Mr. B ever pops the question.
    Boo, and I really hate Valentine's Day. I hate the pink that they use for decorations, makes me gag. If it makes you feel better, I don't have any special plans either!

    As for your outfit, so romantic! I do want to see a higher waisted skirt paired with that blazer but lace was a very nice choice.


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