Walmart and H&M Think You're Stupid
So this is gonna be one of the kind of posts that I promised myself I wasn't going to write. I wanted this blog to be fun and easy to read. Just a little something to look at and think "hmm that's cute, oh and it's fairly made too? Great!" Well fair readers, today is the day I throw it all out the window. It started the other night while I was watching t.v. We aren't really into 'live' t.v (hulu has our hearts) but we absolutely couldn't miss Judith Hill KILL IT on the Voice so the t.v was on. I think the best part about not watching a lot of tv is that I don't watch a lot of commercials. Anyways one of the commercials was for H&M's conscious collection. You might have seen it:
Normally I'd have made a comment about how silly the commercial was and simply moved on. Unfortunately however, yesterday afternoon I saw this video about women at a factory that produced clothes for H&M and Walmart in Cambodia who were denied fair pay. We aren't talking about a minimum wage argument here. Like, they literally were being paid pennies an hour. Then they started to complain and the factory just shut down. Boom. 200 women, some of which are pregnant, completely abandoned and left with unpaid salaries. You can watch the video for yourself but essentially the women appeal to H&M and Walmart to help them and the companies just ignore them.
I try not to judge a company based on hearsay or even one isolated event...but come on, we all know this has been happening for years so the "there's two sides to every story" argument totally doesn't apply here. This is just one small story on a giant list of abuses by these companies.
I'm curious to know what exactly is "conscious" about treating your employees so poorly? Also, since this is a specific line of clothing does that make the rest of the clothing unconscious? Not conscious? I'm confused.
So now I'm fired up and making statements to my husband like " I don't care how cheap their clothes are, I will never shop at H&M again!" THEN I see a fair trade company I love post about how excited they are that Walmart is going to carry their product in their new line called (drum roll please) EMPOWERING WOMEN TOGETHER.
I'm sorry Walmart but are you freaking serious?
Empowering Women Together?
Like the women in Cambodia?
Or do those women not count unless they're making something 'ethnic' and 'tribal'?
Oh and side note, can we talk about the fact that the woman narrating the video has a british accent? You can't fool me with your fancy accent Walmart! I don't know why that is bothering me so much right now! But it just is! Hulk Smash!
So as I sit here trying to figure out what the heck is going on I can only come to one conclusion...Walmart and H&M think I'm stupid. They think if they use empty words like 'conscious' and 'sustainable' and put it on a marginally popular model in a pretty background I'll assume that unlike every other marketing ploy, this campaign is honest and wholesome. They think I'm stupid enough to assume that if they carry three baskets and a bracelet made by a woman who has HIV then they must be doing great things in the world for all the women they employ.
But here's the thing Walmart and H&M; I don't need you to be "conscious" and don't necessarily care if you hop on the global market trend. Please spare us the nonsense about how you are saving the planet, changing the world and empowering women. What I want from you is simply this; PAY YOUR EMPLOYEES. You don't need to be a pillar of compassion and world change. You just need to not be wretched.