A list of 10 companies to avoid when buying holiday gifts.
Air America put together a list of companies that you should think twice about before handing them your money. Their research is based on descriptions from The Blue Pages: A Directory of Companies Rated By Their Politics And Practices. This is a super handy little book that tells you about companies' environmental, human rights and labor practices and also which political parties they give money to and how much. There are probably hundreds of ‘10 worst' (or best) lists you could come up with from the book, but Air America at least got the ball rolling.
Here's a little info on what they found. You can read the whole thing on their website and you should, there's lots more there. Also check out the book. It's handy to take along shopping. Or maybe it will just be an iPhone app soon anyway (or maybe it is?).
1. Children's Place: "It gets its products from places with human rights and labor violations and had to pay $1.5 million in a settlement alleging that they violated the Securities Act.
2. Hanes: "...went the extra step to be cited for ‘egregious labor violations.'" Oh, and they have not even an attempt at an anti-discrimination policy for sexual orientation and gender identity.
3. JC Penny: "D- on Green America's scorecard and D+ from the NAACP."
4. Limited Brands (this includes Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works): "The now scarily common ‘sourced from countries with widespread, well-documented human and labor rights abuses' rears its head here..."
5. IBM: "It's been sued for improperly converting employee pension plans and for exposing them to toxic chemicals." Oh and also for "aiding and abetting South Africa's apartheid regime."
6. Albertsons: The gamut of really bad labor stuff — "Unpaid overtime, punishing employees for opposing discrimination policies ... intimidates workers into refusing unions ..." and the list unfortunately goes on.
7. Chiquita: This is a good summary: "Everything is contaminated."
8. L'Oreal: Still getting it for their lack of policy on animal testing (oh, and using banned chemicals).
9. Target: Bad on the environment, racial discrimination and of course ‘‘sourced from countries with widespread, well-documented human and labor rights abuses.'"
10. Wal-Mart: Obvi!
Sadly, this is just a few of the companies out there that you should avoid. I'm sure we can come up with more, but better yet, what are the 10 companies that deserve our cash?