SixEight Life


The Obnoxious Consumer

Yesterday I was walking Biscuit (my dog) and my feet were hurting. I’ve been running a lot for exercise, so I’ve been using those muscles and joints a lot more. I always walk Biscuit in my blue Reef sandals, but they’re worn out and seem to be hurting my feet now. I’ve always wanted a pair of Chaco sandals, so I decided on my walk that I’d save up to purchase a pair to remedy this situation…. okay, essentially it’s an excuse to buy Chacos, I’ll admit it.

Photo credit: jimmiehomeschoolmom (creative commons)

I’ve been doing extensive research on clothing companies lately in regards to their policies on slave labor and factories. Chaco has historically appealed to the outdoorsy, adventurous, granola type, so I figured that I’d be able to easily find their policies on slave labor and worker rights, as environmentalism and humanism would likely be ideals of their consumers.

I was wrong. There is nothing on Chaco’s Website regarding their supply chain, nothing about worker’s rights, not even an acknowledgement of the California Supply Chains act. I was disappointed in them. You would think that a company with their sort of products would be socially conscious.

So I have decided to take on the obnoxious consumer role. I’ve emailed Chaco’s customer service my questions regarding their supply chain. Here’s what I asked:

I would love to buy some Chacos Sandals, but I was unable to find any information about your ethics and supply chain on the website. Where are the sandals made? Do you have policies in place to protect worker’s rights? Do you perform third party audits? What do you do to ensure there is no slave or child labor in your supply chain?

If they can provide me some good documents and information, we’ll be good to go. If not, I’ve found the VP of Supply Chains for their parent company on LinkedIn, and have a few more options to pursue.

These actions took less time than it took to write this blog. The research took 15 minutes. It took me about 5 minutes to write the email. It was a simple step to find answers before I give $100 to a company. If all of us took a few minutes one day to email our favorite companies, they’d probably start to take notice. Many of them have already.

Where do you love to shop? Do you know the company’s stance on worker rights? If not, would you take 15 minutes to find out? I’d love to hear from you!

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One thought on “The Obnoxious Consumer

  1. Pingback: Step Two of being Obnoxious. | The Everyday Activist

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