I found this terrific resource for those interested in checking up on the companies they buy from every day. Over at Coop America, you can check out companies like Coca-Cola, Avon, Borders, General Mills, J. Crew, Nestle’, Target and Walmart– and see how well they fair in treating their employees and the environment.
Want more interesting tidbits from the Responsible Shopping tool over at the COOP? Always obliging, here you go:
-In October 2007, Indian authorities raided factories in New Dehli that produce clothing for the Gap and found children as young as 10 working there.
-Barnes and Noble has used its influence to secure favored status with publishers, making it increasingly difficult for small booksellers to compete. The company paid $2.35 million to settle an antitrust lawsuit for this practice. (Well Crap! I love to browse there! Lesson learned, support your independent booksellers.)
-General Mills has done some great things including committing to the use of whole grains in all of its cereals and investing $2 million to create 150 jobs at Siyeza, Inc., a company where ownership stake opportunities are offered to employees.
Although they have partnered with conservation and expedition groups to mold itself as a proactive company concerned with protecting the environment, in 2006 National Labor Committee report revealed that a factory sewing t-shirts for L.L. Bean subjected its workers to extremely long hours with no sick leave or health benefits, paid wages below the legal minimum, denied some workers 60 percent of pay legally owed to them, and had unsanitary and unsafe working conditions.
According to CoopAmerica, the mega-corporation Walmart has been underperforming for some time. Go ahead, see for yourself.