A few months ago my mom asked me to go pick out a baby gift for someone. I know that she was secretly hoping that if I spent 30-minutes in the baby department, I would maybe start getting baby fever...it totally worked, but only for about 2 minutes until I heard a screaming child at the other end of the store. So. Not. Ready. Anyways, after I called Dan to make sure we were on the same page about not having kids for a long time, I got back to shopping with no sentimental attachment towards anything tiny. (I promise this story has a point). I ended up picking out a couple of cute little sundresses. And as the cashier put those tiny little clothes into a bag and I swiped my debit card, I unconsciously condoned the slave labor of thousands of little children. I don't know about you, but there are few things that bring innocence to mind more than baby clothes...I mean if monkeys in tutus and smiling cupcakes don't scream "care-free," I don't know what does. Maybe that's why no one suspects Carter's to be a company that condones slave labor. And they can get away with it simply because of the ignorance of their consumers, like me.
The Not For Sale campaign has organized a really simple system to inform consumers about the ethics behind the products they are purchasing. Here is a short 1-minute video explaining the issue a little further.
So here's the challenge. Get on your Iphone (unless you're like me and still don't have one, then just go to the www.notforsalecampaign.org website and you can find this here). Go to the App Store, and type in Free2work. You'll find several companies listed. Each one has been given a "grade" based on how well they have addressed forced and child labor. The irony of this challenge is that Apple actually received a "C"...not so great, Steve.
Look around your house and see what companies you've been supporting that maybe you don't want to support anymore. If we took a stand, these companies would have to make a change. There are going to be some that hurt, though. I'm probably going to have to write a whole post about the chocolate companies, because that's one product that I can't do without. Hershey's got a D+...really?? You're killing me!!
I know that it is unrealistic to ask everyone to completely stop purchasing anything from any of these companies (or is it?), but if we could even just make ourselves more aware of where our products are coming from we might be able to make a difference. Next time you're at the store, pull this app up and make sure you aren't supporting slave labor. Happy shopping!