Contact retailers and manufacturers for more information about their practices.
Demand decent wages and working conditions for all workers.
Boycott companies that exploit workers and harm the environment.
Create alternatives to frenzied holiday shopping. Alternative gift giving can include making your own gifts, volunteering time to a charity or school, giving recycled or used gifts, or buying gifts made by local artisans.
Form alliances with women statewide in promoting policies which empower women.
Read labels and look for union labels; know where your purchases are produced. Ask store managers what they know about a product's origins. Request copies of sourcing policies from retailers as well as catalog and television sales outlets. If you receive a hostile reception, you'll know that a retailer may not know, or care, where products come from.
Become conscious as to where your money goes; think about your relationship with workers globally and economically.
During Why Shop? Week, keep a record of all the purchases you make. Ask yourself the following questions: Did I really need this? Who produced it? Under what conditions was it produced? Who is profiting from it?
Products made in non-democratic countries like Indonesia, China, or Burma, or export processing zones like Haiti, the Phillipines, or Mexico almost certainly exploit workers. However, a "Made in the USA" label does not guarantee the product wasn't made in a sweatshop. Stay informed about manufacturing practices through this website and others.
Ask your favorite consumer groups to expand product ratings to include working conditions.
Support the National Labor Committee's "People's Right to Know Campaign" by calling for corporate disclosure of working conditions: www.nlcnet.org.
For one week, live without advertising. Turn off commercial TV and radio, leave magazines which promote consumerism unread, and recycle newspaper inserts without consulting the ads.
Call the Grassroots Environmental Effectiveness Network at 212-966-4225 for a corporate boycott factsheet
UNITE (Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees) suggests asking the following questions of store managers. (If they don't know the answers, ask them for the name of the person who does):
Does your store have a code of conduct for all factories that make the clothes you sell?
Does it forbid child labor and protect human rights? Does it specify living wages? Is the code of conduct posted in every factory?
Is there an independent monitoring agency to make sure that everybody lives up to the code?
Look for the union label!
Don't buy what you don't need!
| Dr. Kayann Short's Homepage| Women's Studies Index Page| Colorado University|