CategoryCorporate Social Responsibility

Fashion with a conscience

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A few years ago I was in Cambodia being driven along one of its crowded streets where the only rule of the road seemed to be “get out of the way of somebody who’s driving a bigger vehicle than you”, when I saw a number of flatbed trucks carrying people jammed in like sardines pass by. I asked my Cambodian host who they were and he replied they were people who worked in the clothing...

I Don’t Want to Be A Customer of Bastards Inc

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Are we really this greedy? Fact 1. The people who make our clothing are paid so poorly that they cannot put food on the table or pay their rent or send their kids to school. The chart below, using data from the clean clothes campaign, shows the minimum wage for garment workers across Asia compared to a living wage (a wage sufficient to meet the basic needs of a worker and their family). Most...

My day at IKEA, a symbol of hope or a sign of doom?

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I am surrounded by a wall of sound. The low rumble of trolleys laden with meals, like whispered thunder. The chinking of cutlery on crockery. A cacophony of voices. Crying babies. Excited five-year-olds. Wearied parents. Lovestruck couples. Welcome to IKEA, where consumerism has become a form of recreation. It seems that for many going to IKEA is an experience to be enjoyed, an outing to look...

Think Corruption, Think….

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A few years back when I heard the word “corruption” it called to mind images of tin pot dictators stuffing billions of dollars into Swiss bank accounts. Now I think of multinational corporations. Here’s why: for every bribe taker there has to be a bribe giver, and in the case of large scale bribery, the bribe giver often represents corporate interests. The papers this week have...

Dancing with the Devil. Nestle, Chocolate and Child Labour

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The world’s largest food company, Nestle, does not have a good reputation with advocates for justice. For years the company has been accused of aggressively marketing infant formula to women in the developing world, leading them to preference formula over breast milk, at great risk to baby health. For example,  a 2013 report by Save the Children estimates that breastfeeding in the first...

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