The Southeast Alaska Catholic
November 2011

Dallas Cowboys Merchandising produces apparel with logos from several major colleges. However, the company, also known as Silver Star Merchandise, contracts with some sweatshops–one in Indonesia that stole wages from 2,800 workers and one in El Salvador that is unsafe and compels lengthy overtime.

United Students Against Sweatshops (www.usas.org), with chapters at 150 colleges, is putting pressure on school administrations to, in turn, pressure the Cowboys to use only reputable contractors. Students have led the charge on this sweatshop issue for many years and they find some administrators are sympathetic to this latest campaign.

Meanwhile, Fair Trade Fund (www.slaveryfootprint.org)has a website that tells a visitor how many slaves he or she uses in a typical week. The number of slaves is based on answers to 11 questions about lifestyle and specific products, including electronic devices and cosmetics. The site is a consciousness-raising gimmick–similar to http://www.carbonfootprint.com.

(This article first appeared in INITIATIVES: In Support of Christians in the World), December 2011, Number 197)