SPEAK would like to clarify some details about its sweatshop-free campaign. The purpose of this campaign is to critically evaluate our own participation in this system of oppression and how it is both fed by and continues to perpetuate Western materialism; however, this does not mean that we want to shut down the book store or start a campus-wide war against Efollett.
SPEAK members recognize the sensitivity and complexity of this issue; we realize that merely shutting down sweatshops and buying only U.S.- made products will not necessarily provide a solution. While sweatshops certainly do exploit their workers, they also provide jobs and wages to people in areas where there may have previously been none. But is it just to use others’ poverty as an excuse for exploitation? We don’t think so. This is why we’re convinced that, at a university where a commitment to justice is professed, sweat-free clothing should at least be an option.
If students are interested in 100 percent fair trade shirts they should email SPEAK at email@example.com with the subject line: fair trade shirt.