(Flickr: See-ming Lee)
Recently, you may have seen all the social chatter about the efforts of Change.org members behind the Clean Clothes Campaign. I started to recognize these efforts last month when I caught wind of the same story on Vogue.com regarding Versace’s commitment to banning the practice of sandblasting jeans, a technique used to give jeans a used look which is highly dangerous to workers, after Change.org members posted to their Facebook Wall.
Just last week, the Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana’s Facebook Wall was also bombarded by Change.org members’ messages demanding that the company ban sandblasting. According to Change.com, this move comes after more than 25,000 European and American activists joined a campaign on Change.org demanding that the company ban sandblasting.
“The technique, already banned in Europe, is reportedly still carried out in key garment-producing countries like Bangladesh and Turkey and can result in workers developing the irreversible lung disease silicosis,” reports Vogue.com.
Although this group used the written word to protest, Dolce & Gabbana deleted posts on its Facebook Wall after Change.org members posted messages demanding the company ban sandblasting.
A number of major brands, such as Levi’s, H&M, C&A, Gucci, and most recently Versace, have already abolished sandblasted jeans in their collections. Much like the recent Dolce & Gabbana efforts, the Clean Clothes Campaign forced Versace to lock it to the public after accusing them of using the procedure. The Italian fashion house eventually agreed to the group’s demands, going so far as to say that any supplier found to be employing sandblasting as a production technique would be in breach of contract with Versace.
“The Clean Clothes Campaign has now launched an impressive social media campaign and recruited tens of thousands of supporters from all over the world to demand that Dolce & Gabbana follow in the footsteps of their competitors and ban sandblasting,” said Change.org Organizer Meredith Slater. “Change.org is about empowering anyone, anywhere to demand action on the issues that matter to them, and it has been an honor to provide a platform for the Clean Clothes Campaign’s inspiring campaigns.”
In my opinion, expressing ones opinions through the written word is the best way to create change. However, Facebook Walls and other forums are now very similar to physical venues. Fashion labels and brands use Facebook to create the same feel as if the user were a customer in their physical store.
If people were to barge through the doors and begin protesting or squatting, do you think this might be considered disturbing the peace? Could this translate as similar activity on a Facebook Wall? What are your thoughts on moderating conversations online?