Liz McQueeney ’15
Look down at what you are wearing right now. I can probably tell you one thing about most of the items of clothing you have on: they were made in a sweatshop. People died making that shirt or pair of pants or pair of sneakers. This is a sad reality.
People are dying by working in sweatshops. Sweatshops are factories that have terrible working conditions, abuse their workers, break child labor laws, and don’t pay their employees a living wage. People are forced to work in sweatshops in order to survive because it is the only work available. They put their blood, sweat, and tears into making us a pair of sneakers or our beloved iPhones. They get paid less than a dollar a day and have to fight for their lives just so we can have these luxuries at an affordable price. We need to open our materialistic eyes and see that this is not okay; we need to put an end to sweatshops.
So why focus on Nike? Well, Nike leads the shoe industry in sales with annual revenue of about $24 billion. We need to focus all of our attention on taking this greedy, inhumane company down because if we take the industry leader down, the rest will realize they shouldn’t use sweatshops either. That’s right: boycott Nike. This is the first step to eliminating sweatshops.
Jim Keady, founder of Team Sweat, gave an inspirational talk to the students of Providence College a few weeks ago. He has been working for years to bring down Nike and their sweatshops. He inspired a group of about 18 students to start spreading the word about Nike sweatshops.
This group of students, from the International Human Services class and Amnesty International, is beginning to educate the PC community about the problem of sweatshops. Please keep a look out for students at Raymond Dining Hall handing out information about Nike sweatshops as well as a hilarious orange man, who is against all logos on clothing, taking pictures with students who are saying no to Nike. This group is trying to get the student body to get involved by educating everyone and having people cover up their logos, sign a petition, and boycott Nike. They are also trying to connect with the bookstore on campus to put Nike products towards the back of the store and products that are sweatshop-free on the front displays. Also, they hope to talk to the sports teams that have endorsements with Nike in order to get them to choose a different company and eventually go logo-free. The ultimate goal is to get Providence College to become completely Nike-free and show the company that they need to get rid of sweatshops and pay their workers a living wage before we give them our business again.