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View Diary: Meet the retailers that won't help victims of Bangladesh factory collapse (112 comments)

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  •  Consumer ignorance (29+ / 0-)

    I am a person who always looks for bargains.  I buy clothing from the clearance racks, and I refuse to buy anything that is not on sale.  That being said, I also try to avoid retailers like Walmart, and other corporate offenders like Regal Cinemas, Papa Johns, etc.  once I become aware of their policies that harm their workers or the environment, etc.  I try to reward retailers that have pro-worker policies, or are good corporate citizens.  
    I find the biggest problem with reconciling these two goals is having access to information.  When I am standing in a store looking at a shirt on sale, I have no way of knowing at that time if the company that made it is using factories like these in Bangladesh, or what their policies are.  I like to think that if the press reported more about companies like GAP refusing to participate in relief funds, there would be more public negative response.  Only if these corporations are hit in the bottom line will they change their approach.  

    •  Nicer clothes last longer and are cheaper in the (15+ / 0-)

      long run. I still have a few US-Made Arrow shirts from the early 90s that look better than most of my 1-year old shirts made in god-knows-where.

      Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

      by bigtimecynic on Wed May 01, 2013 at 12:02:11 PM PDT

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      •  An interesting experiment the next time (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        you're folding laundry is to make a tally of countries where your clothes are manufactured.  It really brings the point home.

        This is also a great social studies assignment for middle and high schoolers.  Write down the names of 5-10 countries where your clothes were made, place them on a map, and compare their per capita income/birth and death rates/education rates etc. to the United States.  Frankly, you could base an entire college course on this question.

        "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

        by Mogolori on Thu May 02, 2013 at 04:06:43 PM PDT

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      •  "Nicer" clothes is what I thought I was buying (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        when I stopped shopping at Walmart and went to Cato's!  True, the price wasn't thru the roof, but they weren't as inexpensive as Walmart's.   Being "full figured," until I started buying online from Ulla Popkin (when I could afford it), there were very few places in this area to find nice clothes to wear to work that I could afford.

        However, that said... I haven't bought anything from Cato's for probably close to four years.  I would go in to "shop" every now and then, but the style, fit, and quality had gone down so bad I couldn't justify spending the prices they wanted.  

        I plan on writing the company and basically repeating what I've said here... plus more.  I'd lay odds they effectively lost me as a "buyer" when they shifted their business contracts to Bangledesh.  For me, the dual tragedies just answered the question "what happened to their inventory?" that Mom and I've asked each other thru these years.

        That brings up a concept these businesses don't seem to understand.  They move their contracts around to the lowest bidder... damn the human cost... keeping their prices the same (and even raising them), and then losing good customers when the quality of their merchandise suffers... because they're too concerned with saving pennies for shareholders to give a damn about the human cost involved.

        I agree boycotting for the sake of boycotting may not be the way to go in this situation... but people with my experience... reaching out to Corporate and explaining the WHEN and WHY they lost my (very ample $$$) business some years ago... and THEN connecting that experience with these tragedies -might- (I dare to hope) cause someone to re-think this insane contracting pattern - that maybe it isn't the best way to pad that bottom line.

    •  BBC had some great segments today, but (7+ / 0-)

      one unsurprising bit of news was that surveyed customers weren't interested in worker safety overseas.

      Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

      by the fan man on Wed May 01, 2013 at 03:09:17 PM PDT

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    •  If a sweater cost $8 you can bet it wasn't made in (2+ / 0-)

      the USA. I think it's worth it to spend money on clothes that are made here, though I love Goodwill.

      Usually the tag will say where it's made.

      Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

      by ZenTrainer on Wed May 01, 2013 at 05:56:00 PM PDT

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      •  Tags can and often are removed and changed (0+ / 0-)

        I have a close acquaintance who delivered to one such place driving a delivery truck, with boxes full of one countries label - left with another.

        A classic sweat shop skirting the grey areas of many federal laws - no longer in "business", however.

        Conservatism is an obsession with the past ... with little regard for the future.

        by RUNDOWN on Thu May 02, 2013 at 06:25:58 AM PDT

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