Monday, September 15, 2008

Consider the Cost

I have been very concerned lately with supporting companies and businesses that use child labor factories for the production of their merchandise. I started getting overwhelmed thinking “how could I know who does and doesn’t use this method of production?” I have realized that it is definitely easier to find out which companies do use child labor than it is to discover which do not, but at least it’s a start. So, from my research, I have found a list of companies that are infamous for their use of child labor:

Abercrombie & Fitch
Phillips-Van Heusen
The Gap
Banana Republic
Old Navy
Tommy Hilfiger
Levi Straus
Ralph Lauren
Liz Claiborne
Calvin Klein
Brooks Brothers

I don’t know how accurate all of these are, as I found them off of the internet, but a majority of sites confirmed that Wal-Mart, Gap, and Nike are some of the worst. I read several articles/comments saying that Target has a good reputation when it comes to not using any sort of child labor.

I know it is difficult to think of completely banning some of these major companies from our regular use, especially those such as Wal-Mart, however, I would like to challenge you to consider, beyond the cheap price of an item, the true cost of what you are purchasing.

When you buy new school clothes for your children, think about the children that don’t get to go to school because they are forced to make those clothes in dangerous environments where they are often unpaid, underfed, and abused sometimes to the point of torture. Many are sold into slavery by their own parents. They are beaten for crying, and then again for bleeding on the clothes from the previous beating. The reality of this situation is one that is most disturbing and easy for many of us to want to push out of our minds because of the pain, sadness, and hopelessness that we feel.

It's easy to feel hopeless about it, I mean, I cannot promise that I will never shop at a Wal-Mart again, but I can avoid buying clothing and shoes from Wal-Mart. Second-hand shops, like Goodwill and other thrift stores are a great alternative as well. I know that very few people, including myself, can honestly say that they will never buy anything again that contributes to this sad truth, however, we can do our part as best we can, and even though it may not seem like it, awareness counts. The more that people know, the more they will care, the more that they care, the more things will change!

Consider the cost, not just the price.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Welcome to the World Nadia!

I am so excited for my longest and one of my best friends, Jenny, who just had her baby girl, Nadia Yvonne Parker!! I cannot wait to meet this little blessing and I feel so privileged to have the opportunity to be apart of their lives! God is so good! Jenny and I have literally been through everything together. We have grown up with each other since birth and have been the closest of friends our entire lives. We played as children together, rebelled, loved and learned as teenagers together, experienced the lowest of times as well as the happiest, and watched each other finally reach the fulfillment we had dreamed of as we grew into adulthood, and now I get to see her take on the most beautiful role of all...mother. So, welcome to the world beautiful Nadia, and congratulations Luke and Jenny!