Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 29, 2012 10:56 AM
Greenpeace is doing battle against the fashion world. In the past week, it organized more than 700 volunteers in more than 80 cities in 20 countries to dress up like mannequins and stage “walkouts” of Zara stores as a protest against the company for using any hazardous chemicals in its supply chain.
The “Detox Zara” campaign has spread to include all of fashion; the eco-campaigner's latest video, above, is a manga style trailer called "Detox Fashion" (tagline: "Toxic is so last season.")
The campaign has worked, according to Greenpeace's Tristan Tremschnig: "Zara — the world’s largest retailer — has now committed to clean up their supply chain and Detox following 9 days of intensive pressure from people around the world. This included over 320,000 people joining the campaign online, over 44,000 mentions of Zara and the Detox campaign on Twitter alone, and a reach of over 7.1 million people across Twitter and Weibo. Not forgetting our activities on Facebook, Pinterest and outside the brand’s stores."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 26, 2012 04:04 PM
In a fiery furnace of déjà vu, a garment-factory fire in Bangladesh on Saturday killed 112 people trapped inside the building, or jumping to their deaths in buildings where safety is ignored in a retail rush for products to export.
It was just over a century ago — March 25, 1911 — when the now infamous fire in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory on New York's Washington Square left 146 workers dead because the owner had blocked exits and stairwells to keep employees from leaving or taking a break. The tragedy led to reforms and unionization for U.S. garment workers, but here we are a century later, and it's happening again in Bangladesh.
About this latest firetrap, which has sparked mass protests in Bangladesh, AP writes: “The fire alarm: Waved off by managers. An exit door: Locked. The fire extinguishers: Not working and apparently 'meant just to impress' inspectors and customers. 'Had there been at least one emergency exit through outside the factory, the casualties would have been much lower,' said Maj. Mohammad Mahbub, fire department operations director.
The factory is owned by Tazreen Fashions Ltd., a subsidiary of the Tuba Group, and has produced garments for Walmart, Carrefour, C&A and IKEA, since opening in 2009 and employing about 1,700 people. Walmart's connection to the factory is still "unclear," as Salon notes. A 2011 Walmart ethical sourcing audit gave Tuba Group a yellow rating and requested that it address unacceptable conditions at its factories.
Update: Walmart stated on Monday that the factory in question was indeed producing pieces for the retailer — but without its knowledge, due to a subcontractor arrangement. "Today, we have terminated the relationship with that supplier," America's biggest retailer said in a statement. "The fact that this occurred is extremely troubling to us, and we will continue to work across the apparel industry to improve fire safety education and training in Bangladesh."Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 26, 2012 10:51 AM
Now you don't have to worry about mannequins watching you — they may also be following you onto the sidewalk. As part of Greenpeace's global "Detox" campaign, more than 700 people, in over 80 cities, in 20 countries around the world protested, staged street theater and conducted "mannequin" walk-outs to demand Zara to eliminate the use of all hazardous chemicals throughout its supply chain.
From Bangkok to Buenos Aires, the activists also called on Zara store managers (who don't permit photos of their mannequins) to forward Greenpeace's Detox demands to their headquarters, after new research found traces of hazardous chemicals in ZARA clothing items, some of which can break down in the environment to become hormone-disrupting or even cancer-causing substances. As Greenpeace put it, "how will the world's largest fashion retailer — which responds so swiftly to changes in fashion trends — react to this global call for toxic-free fashion?"Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 25, 2012 11:43 PM
Durex kicked off its first global initiative for World AIDS Day 2012 on social media. The brand will donate one condom for every person who shares the Twitter hashtag #1share1condom through December 1st, which is World AIDS Day. Facebook users are being encouraged to share the Durex World AIDS Day image or video above. Accoridng to Mumbrella, the condom brand "has symbolically set a target of 2.5 million condom donations ... representative of the 2.5 million people who were newly infected with HIV last year alone."
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 22, 2012 05:01 PM
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index is the national benchmarking tool on business policies and practices related to LGBT employees, and their 2013 report has good news.
“Businesses have laid a foundation of workplace equality the likes of which no previous generation of employees and job seekers has ever seen,” said the Human Rights Campaign in releasing its Index this week.
The HRC's CEI report has been released each fall since 2002 as a granular analysis of large U.S. employer’s performance pertinent to the LGBT workplace. When the group did its first survey a decade ago, just 13 businesses received top rating, while in 2013, a record 252 businesses achieved the top rating out of 688 businesses rated including the entire Fortune 500.
Companies are rated on 40 policies and practices, including having fully-inclusive equal employment opportunity policies, providing equal employment benefits, demonstrating organizational LGBT competency, evidence of their commitment to equality publicly, and exercising responsible citizenship.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 16, 2012 02:12 PM
It's understandable that the record-breaking sum that BP will be paying out — $4.5 billion in fines and other payments — as a result of the Department of Justice settlement over the 2012 Deepwater Horizon accident, oil spill and response raised eyebrows. While two employees are being charged wth manslaughter, the company also pled guilty to 14 criminal charges in connection with the cataclysmic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico two years ago, and admitted to criminal conduct and deliberately misreporting the impact of the spill.
It's a record-breaking sum, but as a reader noted on our story, it's "a drop in the barrel" for the oil and gas giant. Even the fact that the DOJ investigation is ongoing, and BP will be subject to additional including federal civil claims and claims for damages to natural resources and fines under the Clean Water Act, with potential fines of up to $21 billion, the brand is more than prepared to absorb the financial hit.
The bigger question is how much, if at all, things have changed in the corporate culture that led to the accident, and led to harsh criticism over its handling of the accident. As Tom Zara, Interbrand's global Corporate Citizenship practice leader, comments, the DOJ penalty is directed at the "ethical bone structure" that led to the disaster, and the loss of 11 lives. "Notoriety of criminality isn’t the death knell of a brand, but corruption of culture will kill the brand."
The Justice Department press release detailing BP's guilty plea doesn't mince words on that front:Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 12, 2012 01:02 PM
After Sandy, even Apple is giving to the Big Apple. The Cupertino, CA-based tech giant is giving generously to New York City and Northeast residents who were hard hit by Hurricane Sandy, as reported by 9to5Mac: “We just got the above email via an Apple employee from CEO Tim Cook showing the Cupertino company is looking after those on the other coast of the U.S. Apple will donate $2.5 million to the Red Cross to benefit Hurricane Sandy victims.”
The donation comes on top of an iTunes page for the Red Cross, where 100% of value is passed on to relief efforts. Apple’s recent link on their homepage that directs traffic to the Red Cross iTunes page is a major move as their site garners close to 35 million unique visitors monthly, placing it #23 in Compete’s popularity rank of websites. “It’s a prime bit of real-estate and it’s nice to see one of the five major links on the page go to relief in the wake of Sandy’s devastation of the eastern seaboard,” notes TheNextWeb.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is being praised for boosting Apple’s charitable giving, ad being seen as “determined to change the company’s stingy reputation — as one of the few major American corporations that before had barely donated to charity,” reports the New York Post. “Tech titan Apple at last donated something to charity worth talking about: $100 million… [which] still leaves Apple in an unusual spot — far behind its peers.”Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 6, 2012 03:04 PM
Samsung’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiative that in Brazil, its Solar Powered Internet Schools program, has expanded to a village in rural South Africa.
Located in Phomolong, in the countryside near Johannesburg, where access to many things common to the western world are scarce, Samsung Electronics installed the first of its kind exclusively solar-powered, mobile classroom designed specifically for use in remote areas with limited or no access to electricity.
The 12-meter renovated container has solar panels on the roof that can generate nine hours of electricity a day, powering a 50-inch electronic board, Internet-enabled solar-powered notebooks, Samsung’s Galaxy tablet computers and Wi-Fi cameras.
Up to 21 students can use the classroom at a time, and a complete curriculum is stored in a central server so the truck can move and reach even the remotest of areas, as shown in this video featuring Lefa, a leader of tomorrow, with her classmates in the school.Continue reading...