Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Sweat Shops

I've been wondering a lot about sweatshops, and why it is that so many people don't mind buying products made in sweatshops. After a bit of pondering I realized it is probably because most people don't know about, hear about, read about anything related to sweatshops in their daily lives. I mean why would you? We live in capitalist america where the main reason that most companies exist is to sell people crap, and a lot of that crap is stuff we don't need. So, it's safe to say that most big businesses don't want the public to hear about sweat shops.

I decided that I should write a little bit about sweat shops so that the 16 people who do read my blog will be a tiny bit more informed and maybe even take a look at the "Made in ..." tag on the products they buy.

Reasons not to buy products made in sweat shops:

1. The countries that use sweatshop labor are the countries that american jobs are being outsourced to. Why would some corporation pay you or me minimum wage, as lousy as it is, when they can pay some little kid in Cambodia or Mexico 30 cents a day? There go all of our manufacturing and production jobs.

2. If you care at all about humanity, you don't want to support slave wages, 12 hour days, and child labor. When you stop buying a product that you normally buy because you find out it is made in a sweatshop, write an email to the company's customer service address. These corporations need to know why their sales numbers are dropping. If they don't know you're pissed off about sweat shop labor they aren't going to do anything about it. Here's a tip, draft one letter and save it. You can emal it to companies and just change the name of the company each time you send it out.

3. This reason should strike a chord with all of you penny pinchers out there: If the shirt you buy at Banana Republic or the sneakers you buy from Nike cost you $150 and the company is only paying their workers sweatshop wages, who the hell is keeping all of your money?! That's right, some rich fat white guy who owns a lot of stock. Don't give that guy your money! When you buy sweatshop free at least you know the person who made your product isn't young enough to be in daycare and can afford to eat dinner.

So those are my top 3 reasons for deciding not to buy any more products made in sweatshops. Buying sweatshop free is not easy, I can testify to that. It takes a lot more searching to find the clothes, shoes, and products you want and need that are made in sweatshop free countries. Once you start looking at the tags on everything from tshirts to coffee mugs you'll realize just how widespread sweatshop production has become.

I tried to buy an outfit for my little sister's birthday, and hadn't planned enough time to spend trying to find children's clothes made in the U.S. or some other first world country. Gymboree, Baby Gap, The Children's Place, none of these stores had anything made sweatshop free. Everything was made in Vietnam, Cambodia, Mexico, Sri Lanka. Yeah, I've heard GREAT things about human rights in Sri Lanka! Buy the end of my shopping day I switched to childrens' books and was deeply saddened by how many chidlrens' products are made in sweatshops. Think of the irony, some little kid my sister's age probably made the clothes she wears.

Look in your closet at the tags on your clothes. How many items are made in the U.S., England, France, Canada...probably not many.

Here are some links to websites and stores that sell sweatshop free products:

http://www.theapparelagent.com/ (This one is by far my favorite)








Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Change of pace

Okay, so I am obviously not that interested in using this blog as a travelogue as I had originally planned. And using it as some sort of public journal is out of the question. So I think that I need to use this as my outlet for commenting on the current world events. My poor friends and family are rightfully frightened by my heated and often loud voicing of my opinions in this arena. Since I feel so strongly about current events, perhaps I'll post more regularly now. Perhaps.

Later tonight I will draft my first new posting.

Until then.


The body of what MUST be a Hezbollah terrorist. Because that's who Israel is after, right?