So there’s this argument that I hear all of the time:
The garment industry comes to a region or country and, yes, it has loads of problems. The workers aren’t paid well and they’re overworked. The working conditions are dreadful and no place for an adult to work let alone children, which also work there. BUT there aren’t a lot of opportunities in this country and the industry allows the workers and the country to grab hold of the first rung of the global economic ladder. The countries main resource is cheap labor. Over time wages and workers rights go up along with the cost of the goods being produced. Other,…
The labor rights community is laser-focused on a factory in Jordan in which multiple rapes of female workers by male management have occurred. Headlines shout, “Tell WalMart, Target, Macy’s, Lands’ End, and Kohl’s to stop Profiting from Rape.”
Profiting from rape? Yep, that sounds a bit extreme. No matter what you think of these companies I doubt you think that they’re sitting around a boardroom discussing that if only they could get a few more rapes this quarter they’d hit their target profit. In these instances I always wonder if public shaming was the first or the last resort.
I’m the kind of guy that people think to email or to tweet when news of…
What do Anne Heche, Kyra Sedgwick, and Jimmy Fallon have in common other than Kevin Bacon? They all received (along with Kevin Bacon) greeting cards designed and made out of recycled materials by Peruvian women in their 2010 Emmy swag bags. Grace Bateman Greene, the founder of Peru Paper, and I recently connected and she agreed to share her thoughts on travel, education, and the importance of a job.
I prompted her with this question:
I’m interested in how your travels and your education have impacted the course of your life. How has travel influenced your education? How has your education influenced your travels?
Without further ado, Grace…
I’ve loved reading what Kelsey has said about TOMS shoes recently. …
This video by Etsy is proof that my work isn’t done, not even close.
And here’s my much shakier, less produced, too long, hookah version of this…
Do you carry your cell phone in your pocket? Do you Facebook with your laptop on your lap?
If you answered “Yeppers” to these questions, you could be suffering from radioactive balls. Radioactive balls can lead to impotence, infertility, and the the production of offspring with genetic mutations that give them superpowers for which society simultaneously loves and shuns them.
And it’s never easy being the parents of a superhero.
Batman’s parents = Dead
Superman’s biological parents = Dead
Superman’s earth parents = targets of evil geniuses
Spider-Man’s parents = Never heard from
Spider-Man’s Uncle = Shot
If impotence, infertility, and superhero parenting aren’t your thing, I’ve got just the…
I’m quoted in a LA Weekly story on TOMS shoes.
Since I’ve started to think about and research TOMS my stance has been best summed up as such: the problem isn’t shoelessness; it’s poverty.
At the best TOMS is addressing a symptom of poverty, not poverty itself. At the worst, TOMS is exploiting those living in poverty to sell shoes and hindering the local shoe business of their giving locations by giving away free shoes.
The author of the piece, Patrick McDonald, even gave me the last word on TOMS in the piece:
“You see the impact of how a job can change lives,” says Timmerman, “of how it can give a person dignity.”
Your boss is hounding you to produce more t-shirts faster, but he’s not willing to give you more money to hire new employees. You have two choices: don’t meet his unrealistic expectations or higher children at 1/3 of the price of an adult worker?
These are the decisions you face in the new online game Sweatshop.
Sweatshop is a light-hearted game, but it’s based upon very present realities that many workers around the world contend with each day.
Littleloud and Channel 4 worked with experts on sweatshops to integrate some of these realities into the game design.
In addition, there are numerous facts and figures spread throughout the game, highlighting the plight…
“I had a very simple idea with a desire to help,” Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS shoes, told the TOMS employees in what appears to be a garage in Santa Monica.
That desire started with giving a pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair purchased form TOMS. I’ve offered up my thoughts on TOMS shoes before – shoelessness isn’t the problem, poverty is – and now I thought I would examine the next venture in the TOMS business, which was revealed on Tuesday…glasses.
“With every pair purchased,” he said. “TOMS will help give sight to a person in need. One-for-One…from this day forward TOMS isn’t a shoe company, it isn’t an eyewear company, it is the one-for-one company.”
France 24 did a 12-minute piece on the current state of the Bangladeshi garment industry that talks about the increase of the minimum wage, recent protests, rising food prices, and the persistent tension between business and workers.
I found the interview with a mother of 6 to be the most interesting. “I want nothing for myself,” she said. “I just want to give them all [my children] an education.” That said she was not able to make it on her own wage so her daughter entered the workforce at the age of 13. At first she was denied employment because of her age, but then, as her mom quite proudly describes, her daughter put a head scarf on along with some makeup and told the factory she…