As the name of this blog suggests, I try to be as conscious of my actions as I can possibly be. That said, it has been a while since I took complete stock of my shopping habits in order to gauge the impact I make on the social politics that affect my surroundings.
I began by looking up how certain clothing retailers fair on the Human Rights Campaign’s radar. You can do this too by looking up your favorite brands on this site:
While researching the brands I shopped, I discovered that I’m doing pretty good although I need to reconsider shopping at certain places. My most frequented shops seem to really put Human Rights at the forefront, so I was pretty pleased with my findings. These shops included:
All the above brands score an 85% or higher (and in Nike’s case is even partnered with the HRC). On the other hand, the following stores scored poorly, and I’m glad I don’t shop there often but I really need not to shopping there at all. They include:
- American Apparel
- VF brand- which owns Vans
- Urban Outfitters
I was ridiculously disappointed in the VF brand, as I am a loyal Vans shoe buyer who now has to look at alternatives. As for American Apparel and H&M, both offer protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation but offer no benefits to domestic partners or transgender individuals. Now Urban Outfitters is another story. No self respecting minority should be shopping at this overpriced retailer as they actively donate money and support campaigns that aim to take away basic human rights from minorities. Plus you can find their items for much less at any recyclable fashion retailer.
As far as food and beverage goes, it was pretty much A+ throughout the board. My favorite brands support equality and include:
- Diageo- which owns Jack Daniels (:D), Smirnoff and Bailey’s.
- Starbucks- which owns my soul and tastebuds
- MillerCoors- which owns Blue Moon
I did find one brand I frequented quite a bit before actually caring about my health. It turns out Hostess does not have Human Rights on their mind. Guess it makes sense for a company who created the Twinkie, and thereby the “Twinkie Defense,” which Harvey Milk’s killer used to have his sentenced lightened.
As for all the other companies that have a hold on my wallet, I was delighted to find they have their philosophies in the right place.
- Barnes & Noble
- Limited Brands- Which owns Bath & Body works
- ebay (!!!)
I was a bit upset and surprised to find two of my favorite companies on the negative side of the spectrum.
Considering the customer for these two companies is most likely a creative and socially aware person, it caught me off guard that they don’t prioritize equality in their bylaws. Guess I won’t be having as much tomato-less salsa or paying way too much for crafting supplies anymore.
With election season within reach, we must seriously contemplate on how our money is used against us and make the right decisions when making purchases. So before you reach for that $20 Urban Outfitters tank top, ask yourself, “Are my rights really worth this purchase?”
How does your consumer dollar affect society. Drop something in my box letting me know how you feel and where you stand.