Holstein et al. put it best when they explained, "In an era when the economy is necessarily a global one, it is impossible for consumers to avoid products made under less than ideal labor conditions" (153). Personally, I think it would be counterintuitive to point a finger at just one company for their exploitation of sweatshop workers, when in reality, almost everything that an individual owns is a product of a globalization and harsh working conditions. For instance, in the current state of the American economy, it would make more sense for a family with two-unemployed heads of the household to buy clothing for their children at WalMart rather than spending 25 dollars for a fair-trade t-shirt. While this does seem like the more practical decision, what these parents may not realize is that, according to the UFCW, WalMart is the largest importer of Chinese goods - these goods being a product of poverty-level wages and slave-like abuse. In reality, the continuing struggle between harsh working conditions and the global economy is unfortunately inevitable. Thus, while recommendations by organizations such as Green America (http://www.greenamericatoday.org/programs/sweatshops/whatyoucando/index.cfm) do offer ideas to end sweatshops and forced child labor, it will still be a long time before a majority of Americans find this alternative beneficial to themselves and their families.
In other news, the Compact Challenge has been surprisingly easy. Seeing as how I am a struggling college student, it wouldn't make sense to spend my money on anything besides food. Honestly, I really do have everything I need within the comforts of my bedroom. Besides, what would be the point of buying a new shirt when in this weather I would probably cover it up with a sweatshirt?
By Jo Anne Lasola
Green America. "What You Can Do."
Holstein, et al. "Santa's Sweatshop: In a Global Economy, it's Hard to Know Who Made Your Gift - and Under What Conditions." Class Reader.
UFCW. "Wal-Martization and Sweatshops."