June 9, 2005

Make Tat History

I’m a few days late with this news, but it strikes me as bleakly ironic:

Wristbands made to raise awareness of the Make Poverty History campaign have been produced in Chinese factories which violated ethical standards

Two factories have been audited, and found to pay less than the local minimum wage, require deposits from their staff [this is considered to be forced labour], make deductions from wages for infractions of the rules, and have inadequate health and safety systems. These are basic violations of the Ethical Trading Initiative; these are bad, bad factories.
It’s amazingly difficult to get British companies interested in this sort of thing. Around these parts, corporate responsibility means not polluting the nearest river; clearly, charity begins at home.
There’s quite a heated discussion about the wristbands thing here. Would you buy one?


4 thoughts on “Make Tat History

  1. Fuck.
    Guess who just bought one.
    Although the discussion you link to seems more concerned with why you would buy one than where they are made – for me if charities are cashing in on something that is suddenly fashionable then more power to them, however I can’t condone the violations of the ETI.
    Phew, just read the Scotsman article and it seems that it’s only the silicone wristbands that are in question. However it does also state that Oxfam haven’t sold any of the wristbands made in the factory in question as it failed the ETI audit.
    Of course they should have audited them first.

  2. Now there’s a sticky one.
    Would you knowingly buy a product made in a sweatshop?
    Would you buy an item which benefits poverty charities?
    Would you buy an item which benefits poverty charities, even thought it was made in sweatshop conditions?
    No. The motivation for a charitable donation is there, though.

  3. it’s a tough call.
    on the other hand, buddy i know. his parents worked in a sweatshop. and without the sweatshop job, they’d have had none.

    redclay on June 12, 2005
  4. I never quite got the whole wrist band thing. For some reason it grinds me completely the wrong way.

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