Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Guilt-Free Clothing Purchases: Let Co-op America Be Your Guide

One thing I learned from the muckraking movie Walmart: the High Cost of Low Price is that if something is incredibly cheap, it's because workers are paid slave wages. There's a hilarious scene in the movie where a nice middle-class-looking lady in a Walmart parking lot says how incredibly SHOCKED she is to learn cheap products are made in factories with terrible working conditions. I have to admit that though I wasn't shocked, I had never fully put two and two together.
Coop America, one of my favorite organizations (it's included in my links/resources) has put out a list of 9 Cool Ways to Avoid SweatShop clothes. One of them is to buy flipflops that will last more than a season like the ones pictured above, made from recycled tires. (Let's hear it for win-win.) Their recommendations are companies whose workers are unionized and whose products are well made, so you are putting your clothing dollars where your values are. Of course sometimes you just have to go to Kohls or Talbots and pick up something you "need', but when you're feeling more adventurous and not rushed, check out these options. They are pricier because the workers are paid fairly and the factory environmental standards are higher. Thanks to Jo for bringing this list to my attention.

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