Organic Jeans, workers rights and what I’d REALLY like to see

Levi Jeans has recently introduced organic jeans. Admittedly, I don’t know that much about cotten production so I can’t really tell if this is a PR thing since ‘all things organic’ is becoming increasingly mainstream, or whether there is actually a pressing need for organic cotten over other types.

However, this article in the Toronto Now doesn’t really delve into that at all, but instead the writer comments: “No doubt it’s good for farm workers who’d otherwise be stewing in toxins, but are they any better off financially when organic clothing is being peddled at such low prices?”

I’m not saying that workers rights are not important, or that the environment is not important.

However, what I’d really love to see is all these eco- and workers-rights activists start their own business since they seem to know so much about how things should be run.

Consumer activism is always something that’s bothered me on some level.  I know people’s hearts may be in the right places, they may have good intentions, and some of them may make  a positive difference.  However, some just seem have a particular ideology and go on the attack at the first whiff of anything ‘corporate’.  There’s certainly more ego-satisfaction to being part of an activist movement common to a lot of crusading types than just being some schmuck working in an office somewhere.

But part of me strongly believes that rather than complain about the wrongs that everyone else is doing, why not set an example?  There are people out there who have done just that – the founded Ben & Jerry’s, the Body Shop, Ethical Funds and so on – who not only set an example, but ended up providing jobs for thousands of people.  In the long run, that’s much more positive. And effective.

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