"Shop Your Values" Campaigns Against GAP Inc. Brands

10/21/2013
TheContributor.com, The Other 98% and Indigenous Designs launched Shop Your Values, a human rights campaign that encourages shoppers to boycott GAP, Old Navy and Banana Republic stores for their refusal to sign the Bangladesh Worker Safety Accord.

Over 90 brands and retailers throughout the U.S. and Europe have signed the accord, which will require companies that source their products in Bangladesh to help pay for factory renovations and more rigorous inspections to ensure safe working conditions. Bangladesh is the world's second-largest garment exporter.

Shop Your Values launches on the heels of a factory fire in Bangladesh that killed 10 workers last week. The atrocity comes just six months after a garment factory building collapse that killed 1,100 people. The campaign's sponsors created a website, www.shopyourvalues.org, where visitors can pledge to boycott GAP and its subsidiaries.

The website also features articles about the Bangladesh Safety Accord and factory working conditions. Signed pledges will be sent to GAP executives and individuals are encouraged to print the letter and hand deliver it to a local GAP, Old Navy or Banana Republic store.

"GAP, Inc. puts people in harm's way at its factories in order to boost profits," said Chris Dykstra, publisher of TheContributor.com, a co-sponsor of the Shop Your Values campaign. "This business practice should not be accepted by consumers or the business community at large. Those who practice it do not deserve to be rewarded in the market. This tragic story must be told and the business community must focus on solving this issue, not perpetrating it. We welcome other like-minded organizations to participate."

John Sellers, co-founder of The Other 98% agrees. "We are adding our voice to the calls for justice for garment workers in Bangladesh," said Sellers. "It isn't acceptable to sell or buy clothing someone suffered or died to make. We can use our purchasing power to make a better world."

There is no shortage of outrage among onlookers, but awareness about the gravity of these factory conditions lags, according to Indigenous CEO Scott Leonard. "We have seen firsthand how our choices impact the communities involved in creating our clothing. Businesses have a tremendously positive effect on the communities in which they operate when they are held accountable for worker safety. Shoppers need to know what's going on in Bangladesh. It's time to take a stand," he said.
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