Right Thinking From The Left Coast
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Band of Sweat
by Lee

Undoubtedly inspired by the success of the Lance Armstrong wristbands, and all the other charities which followed suit, an anti-poverty campaign in the UK decided to do the same.

Wristbands purchased by British charities as part of the Make Poverty History campaign have been manufactured in conditions that breach international ethical standards, it emerged yesterday.

Chinese companies responsible for wristbands worn by thousand of charity supporters, celebrities and politicians, including Tony Blair, have been accused of indulging in forced labour and of paying less than the official minimum wage. An audit also discovered breaches of health and safety regulations.

Officials from three major charities, Cafod, Oxfam and Christian Aid, say they have been negotiating with suppliers in an attempt to improve working conditions.

A Cafod spokesman said: “We are disappointed this situation has arisen. However, we are now engaging with the supplier to improve conditions within the factory. Under the Ethical Trading Initiative standards, when we find out a supplier isn’t in line with those standards we don’t just pull away. We attempt to engage with the supplier and work with that supplier to improve conditions so they are in line with the Ethical Trading Initiative standards.”

The audit reports focus on two factories heavily involved in manufacturing white wristbands, which sell in Britain for £1 each, 70p of which goes to the charities concerned.

Okay, this is going to be an interesting lesson in economics.  One of two things is going to happen, either the supplier is going to pay his employees more, or he is going to refuse and the charities will take their business to a supplier who does.  This, inevitably, will mean that the unit cost will go up one way or another.  Right now, 70p of the cost of every wristband goes to the charity.  If the unit cost goes up it eats into the 70p profit from the sale.  So, if the charities want to keep their 70p income stable, then the price of the wristbands is going to have to go up slightly.  Or, if they keep the £1 price constant then the amount the charities receive will be reduced.

Posted by Lee on 05/30/05 at 08:55 PM (Discuss this in the forums)

Comments


Posted by on 05/30/05 at 11:15 PM from United States

How are they going to “Make Poverty History”?
Start a war between the impoverished and the rich?  That would go down in History.
Raise taxes until everyone is poor?  That sure would make poverty history.

Posted by on 05/30/05 at 11:25 PM from United States

I don’t see why they need to sell the stupid rubber wristbands… If people really want to be giving and charitable won’t they just give money?

PS- this is somewhat hypocritical given that I’m wearing a livestrong bracelet right now. I bought it but have worn it for the last 7-8 months or so in solidarity with my mother who has been battling cancer.

Posted by Lee on 05/30/05 at 11:26 PM from United States

My wrist is too big to wear one of those things.  If I put it on my hand would turn purple and drop off.

Posted by Tj on 05/30/05 at 11:56 PM from United States

I propose a ribbon in honor of Lee’s big wrist.

Posted by on 05/31/05 at 12:07 AM from United States

Wristbands purchased by British charities as part of the Make Poverty History campaign have been manufactured in conditions that breach international ethical standards, it emerged yesterday.

Call me crazy, but wouldn’t a good step toward eliminating poverty in Britain be, you know, to hire unemployed British workers to produce them?

Posted by on 05/31/05 at 12:10 AM from United States

A yellow bracelet means “do not resuscitate” at a lot of hospitals. If they can’t even figure out which limb to amptutate, I’m not going to trust them to figure out the difference between a do-not-resuscitate bracelet and a similar-looking Lance Armstrong bracelet.

Posted by on 05/31/05 at 12:12 AM from United States

My wrist is too big to wear one of those things.  If I put it on my hand would turn purple and drop off.

You know what they say about a big wrist ...

Well, actually, I suppose they don’t say anything about big wrists except “goddamn, that’s a big wrist!”

Posted by Fantt on 05/31/05 at 01:20 AM from United States

A lot of the kids at my boy’s school wear these silly things.  My son begged me to buy him one of the yellow “Support the Troops” wristbands the other day at the grocery store.  $5, and I noticed that it clearly says “Made in China” on the package and not a word about any money being sent to any charity anywhere.  So, basically, these “Support Our Troops” wristbands (at least the ones I saw) are really “Support Chinese Communism” wristbands.

Is that Irony?

Posted by Fantt on 05/31/05 at 01:22 AM from United States

Call me crazy, but wouldn’t a good step toward eliminating poverty in Britain be, you know, to hire unemployed British workers to produce them?

I’m not sure that unemployed British workers are in poverty… Aren’t they cared for by Big Brother?

Posted by on 05/31/05 at 02:15 AM from United States

I can’t wait till everyone is extremely rich, because it is nothing to be ashamed of because no one will really be poor, at least no one worth speaking of.

Sorry, too much Hitchhiker’s Guide reading.

Posted by on 05/31/05 at 08:26 AM from United States

you can buy all these fake wristbands in vending machines.
I bought a livestrong bracelet, but it is still in the wrapper on my floor somewhere.  I think those things are stupid. John Kerry’s wearing of it didn’t exactly help me want to wear it.  But it went well with his orange make-up, i mean rub-on tan, i mean natural tan.

Posted by on 05/31/05 at 08:29 AM from United States

A yellow bracelet means “do not resuscitate” at a lot of hospitals. If they can’t even figure out which limb to amptutate, I’m not going to trust them to figure out the difference between a do-not-resuscitate bracelet and a similar-looking Lance Armstrong bracelet.

yikes

Posted by HARLEY on 05/31/05 at 08:47 AM from United States

What ever happen to the bracelets that 12 year old girls use to make and share among their friends?
you know the knot tied string things?

Posted by on 05/31/05 at 11:45 AM from United States

friendship bracelets?  Those were ok.
now, slap bracelets, those were effing sweet.

Posted by sneaky_pete on 05/31/05 at 01:30 PM from United States

slap bracelets!

ahh, memories.

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