The other day I was talking with a colleague and, noticing my love of all things accessory, she asked if I ever shopped at Forever 21, telling me about the great bargins her daughter finds. I replied that since there isn’t a Forever 21 store within about 50 miles of where I live, I hadn’t. That was the polite answer, as she was making polite conversation. The truth is, though, it’s not the distance that stops me from shopping at Forever 21, it’s the company.
A few months ago Millie posted a series on sustainable fashion, part of a larger conversation in the blogosphere. So many people made fantastic arguments about labor rights, pollution, waste, consumption, reuse, supporting small and local businesses, etc. as reasons to be mindful shoppers, and I’d like to add another category for consideration: humanism. I try, to the best of my ability, to shop at stores who have standards of ethics and morals towards everyone they work with that I believe in supporting. Those are the companies I want to help sustain.
I don’t shop at Forever 21 for two main reasons: (1) the company is known to, and has been charged repeatedly, for using sweatshop labor and (2) the company’s founders are known evangelical Christians who have been accused of discriminating against colleagues and employees based on religion.
With the Forever 21 example in mind, here are some other companies I chose not to support because I do not agree with how they treat their colleagues, employees, or customers. One note: these are my opinions, and I’m not sharing to shame anyone or pat anyone on the back. Where you shop is your choice, but I’m a firm believer that information can only help us make better choices.