November 26th, 2002

lung

Avoiding sweatshop clothes

So I was browsing around, looking at sites like http://www.behindthelabel.org/ and http://www.uniteunion.org/ and wondering, well, with all of the companies getting "busted" for using manufacturers that use sweatshop factories, how the hell do you find a decent, "sweatshop-free" store?

Here's what UNITE says about it: "There is no list of brand names and stores that don't use sweatshops! That is because there are no companies that have stepped forward to adopt the principles of the anti-sweatshop movement."

In other words, even on this site (which is run by unions and so is biased right there) it admits there aren't ANY places you can shop and be "safe". So in other words, I can't vote with my dollars, as it were. Sort of frustrating - maybe I should just give up on even trying. Anyone even know of any list of companies that might be especially bad, so I can try to avoid them, or should I just throw in the (probably sweatshop-made) towel?

(As an interesting aside: I read on http://www.nosweatapparel.com/, which is a company that says everything it sells is 100% union-made and blah blah blah, mentioned this in talking about one of its sources: " Despite a terrible year for Mexico's "maquiladora sector" -- due to the slumping U.S. economy and the strong peso -- the Mexmode company has been able to keep large buyers like Nike, which made an order for over 200,000 sweatshirts earlier this year."

Now, hold on. Nike's got a reputation, on many of the sites I've looked on, as being one of the worst offenders out there - yet they were just listed as buying 200,000 sweatshirts from this union-based factory in Mexico. So if even the "worst" company out there still buys some stuff from "good" sources - how the hell can we possibly tell who to support? This is very frustrating. Anyone with any good links or info, please lemme know, as I'd like to try to be responsible with my hard-earned money in every way.)