March 9, 2010

Radiohead v Child Labor. Green Consumers v Made in Asia.

Two Boys: Left Screen one life, Right Screen another life. (wait for it)

Most of my favorite companies: TOMS, Whole Foods, Patagonia, Eileen Fisher, Nau, prAna, Apple—are Made in a Land Far, Far Away.

ed’s note: I welcome clarification from the companies mentioned below.

I encourage them to share the fair labor/child labor guidelines they observe and honor with our readers.

Even if they’ve decided that pricepoint and sourcing their goods halfway across the world (not very “green”) are compromises they have to make in order to be a viable business, I hope that they, like Patagonia and Eileen Fisher, go to great lengths to ensure fair labor (click here for Patagonia’s transparent, informative look on why they choose to make their wares half a world away) in the Chinese, Vietnamese etc. factories they use.

Nothing will win the loyalty of we—the conscious consumers take make up the LOHAS market—like knowing that our favorite companies are trying to do the right thing. ~ed.


Most of my fave companies make their wares in the 3rd World. WTF?

I got chills watching the video below (on a green-ish Apple laptop, while wearing stylee prAna hemp pants [Made in China] with an American Apparel shirt + underwear [Made in USA, fair labor], and second-hand New Balance shoes [fair labor]).

Many so-called eco-responsible, liberal-loved companies—Apple, Whole Foods, prAna, Patagonia, Eileen Fisher, Nau—make/get their stuff in China, Vietnam… But don’t worry! The factories are supervised.

Many companies, however, don’t even bother with fair labor certification. Like, as far as I can tell (and I hope to be wrong, will update this as I learn more), TOMS, the hipster, socially-progressive shoe company that puts photos of its founder giving shoes to developing world shoeless children—makes their shoes in the third world, in factories that could include child labor.

Anyways: pictures, video, music is worth a thousand words. This video gave me chills. Kudos to MTV and Radiohead for their work on this brilliant video:

Are you angry? Do you want your favorite companies to be Made in the USA, or anywhere that enforces strict, enlightened labor codes? And are you willing to pay for it?

Then say so.

Because if we aren’t, then we have only ourselves to blame, ultimately.

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