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Human Rights

Blackspot: The Anti-Brand Shoe

Blackspot: The Anti-Brand Shoe

In the 1990s, anti-sweatshop campaigns exposed Nike and other major shoe corporations’ use of sweatshop labor to make their product. “The idea that you can whine against Nike, you can bite at their heels, you can try to boycott them and all the rest of it,” said Kalle Lasn, founder of Adbusters.  “But it’s possible also to develop an anti-brand that uses their multibillion-dollar cool and subverts it in some way."

September 19, 2007

The Dirty Truth about Gold

The Dirty Truth about Gold

I look down at a beautifully wrought gold band, perfect for my girl friend’s birthday, and I am struck with a fact: it takes an average of twenty tons of earth waste and toxic chemicals processed to create one gold ring. Landscapes are turned to craterscapes. Then, I realize there are workers involved in this processing.

September 19, 2007

Hidden Flaws in Oriental Rugs

Hidden Flaws in Oriental Rugs

In the 1990s, handmade Oriental rugs became more popular in the United States and Europe. As demand increased, child labor—often in slave-like conditions involving abuse and malnourishment —became rampant in the rug industry.

September 6, 2007

iPod & Sweatshops

iPod & Sweatshops

Few products have achieved the iconic status of the Apple iPod. Its cultural power is reinforced by the ultra-hip silhouetted figures in ads, the association with Bono and all he stands for as a human rights activist, and mostly the ability to miraculously store an entire music collection in the palm of your hand.

Apparently, nothing could tarnish the iPod's image - not even a human rights scandal.

September 5, 2007

Blood in Your Bling?

Blood in Your Bling?

It's a romantic moment that the magicians of Madison Avenue have taught us to anticipate: man on bended knee tenders a hinged, velvet-covered box along with his profession of eternal love. The ads never show this little casket erupting with scarred children and the ashes of 9/11 victims. Sounds harsh, but that's exactly what we pay for when we purchase a diamond.

August 30, 2007

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