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Thursday, October 05, 2006

This won't win me any popularity contests, but ...

Let me put it right on the table: we all love Target. Their hip commercials, their great style, their low prices, the feeling we get that we're a little smarter than those down-at-heel Wal-Mart enthusiasts. It's all good, right? No. It's not all good. And here's why:

* Target is behind even Wal-Mart in phasing out PVC packaging and products. PVC contains a known carcinogen and is found in packaging, shower curtains, and even children's toys.

* Target uses sweatshop labor. Its Mossimo line is manufactured by, among others, factories in Jordan where the employees are paid only sporadically, wages are below minimum, sick days are not allowed, and workers are threatened with violence if production goals aren't met. We didn't let Kathie Lee slide on this one, so why should we let Target?

* Target has a history of trouble with the EEOC and the NAACP because of its treatment of African-Americans and people with disabilities. The NAACP has urged African-Americans to boycott the chain because of its refusal to hire black people for entry-level management positions in Wisconsin, and a lawsuit brought by the EEOC maintains that the big box store "routinely destroys the applications of African-Americans." A separate suit from the EEOC, settled for $95K, claims that an employee with MS was not allowed to transfer to another position within the store, and that information concerning said employee's condition was relayed to a prospective employer. Ouch!

All things considered, shopping at Target, though addictive, is a bad bet from a moral standpoint. I realize sometimes it's unavoidable - sometimes there is no other place to find something you need. The coffee table I'm sitting in front of right now is a Target find. But I know that I'll be severely limiting my shopping trips there from now on ... it just isn't worth the weight on my conscience.

10 Comments:

At 1:58 PM, Anonymous toyfoto said...

You really nailed the headline on this, but I have to admit, perhaps the reason WE DON'T know of Target's downside is that WE DON'T WANT TO KNOW.

I didn't want to hear this, but I knew it was out there. Had they been a GREAT company for all the reasons Walmart isn't the stories would have reach the rafters.

Thanks for doing a thankless job.

 
At 5:44 PM, Blogger Dan said...

True. I'll remember wear I shop too.

 
At 12:34 PM, Anonymous TB said...

It makes sense they're cutting corners on labor costs and using cheaper materials. How else are they able to undercut everyone on pricing. I'm such a cheapskate I know how much the products I buy regularly cost at every store and Target is consistantly the cheapest.
I have limited my shopping there for a much less ethical reason than you however... it takes too damn long to get there from my house and I hate to drive.

PS - Mignon. Arabella and Wordgirl are not going to like you talking about their boyfriend like that.

 
At 4:52 PM, Blogger Brooke said...

When I was managing a bank branch located inside a Wal-Mart, I couldn't help but do a little shopping in my downtime. And I felt guilty every damn minute.

Now Target. Why can't there be cheap AND ethical. Or is that an oxymoron?

 
At 7:26 PM, Blogger Katherine said...

Holy cow! I had no idea they used sweatshop labor - awful! So sad, I really liked that store too.

 
At 10:54 PM, Anonymous Heidi said...

Damn it. We've been boycotting Wal-mart for months now. Where in the hell am I going to buy lotion, for pete's sake.

 
At 10:09 AM, Blogger Arabella said...

"But he loves me!"

 
At 8:06 PM, Blogger Tits McGee said...

Well, shit.

 
At 9:16 AM, Blogger Fraulein N said...

Dammit.

 
At 8:05 AM, Blogger Blondie said...

You OK? Did Target come "get" you? :)

 

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