Tag Archives: CSR

Facebook Wall Protesting: Could It Be Considered Disturbing The Peace?

9 Aug

(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?

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D.I.Y. With Converse And (PRODUCT) RED

24 Feb

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Converse’s newest 1HUND(RED)s for Spring brings a new meaning to DIY fashion featuring the creative talents from 100 internationally celebrated musicians, artists, designers and even you! Anyone can build their own pair of shoes and make a difference with the customizable “MAKE MINE (RED)” option. This is another way to use cross promotion with a CSR approach. It’s also a wonderful way to engage your target audience while joining in on a good cause like (PRODUCT) RED.

The Converse 1HUND(RED) initiative is a year-long global project celebrating their partnership with (RED) and commemorating the brand’s 100th anniversary to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. Also, the Chuck Taylor® ALL STAR® x Africa line uses canvas sourced in Africa and features African mudcloth designs, bringing global inspiration to the classic Converse style.

Lupe Fiasco, Grammy winning hip-hop artist, created his custom pair of Chucks, shown above,  inspired by newsprint. The shoes feature the familiar phrase, appearing in French around the shoe’s midsole, “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!”

Andrew Mania, known for his conceptual work that riffs off famous art pieces featured in big name galleries in London and Chelsea, has designed his own shoe inspired by the famous artwork “This is not a pipe” by Rene Magritte. Andrew explains, “Clothes or sneakers are just another set of materials to play with. And the shoe can be a work of art, or something other than what it obviously is.”

View the entire Spring collection at (Converse)RED.

Public Relations Agencies Help (PRODUCT) RED

8 Dec

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Photo: The Seattle Times

This past week was an important week for (PRODUCT) RED. It wasn’t difficult in the slightest to find your favorite brands turning red. Even the Space Needle turned red!

As an intern I have had the chance to experience working on Starbucks. It was great to experience the buzz generated by Starbucks and Frause, a full spectrum communications firm, about the (Starbucks) RED campaign around Seattle. Monday, December 1, was World AIDS Day and the Seattle-based company partnered with the Space Needle to show their support by up-lighting the iconic structure a bright red. Starbucks also decided to give 5 cents of every drink to the Global Fund. Also, from November 27 through January 2 the coffee company will donate 5 cents of a (Starbucks) RED™ Exclusive beverage to the Global Fund.

productred2Waggener Edstrom has also helped (PRODUCT) RED in light of World AIDS Day. They produced a video with YouTube ceWEBrity, William Sledd (aka “Ask a Gay Man”) where he ambushes a girl at a mall to give her a (PRODUCT) RED makeover. The public relations agency also secured a contest on Polyvore.com and created a button for fashion bloggers, designed by Jordana Bruner, to show their support for (PRODUCT) RED’s effort in Africa.

It’s so great to see public relations agencies working together for a good cause and a great company that strives for helping people in Africa. How have you helped the effort in Africa? Do you buy RED products?

Add the (PRODUCT) RED button to your fashion blog! Embed Code: <a href=”http://www.joinred.com&#8221; target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l200/grantcwilliams/proudtowear.jpg&#8221; border=”0″ alt=”Photobucket”></a>

Disclaimer: I am currently working on the Starbucks team as an intern at Frause.

Abercrombie & Fitch’s CSR Attempt

22 Apr

Corporate social responsibility is a great way for businesses to recognize the interests of society while acknowledging their impact on their audiences and environment. Abercrombie & Fitch has come up with a “brilliant” CSR tactic donating $10 million to the construction of a trauma center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. The most shocking part of it all: The NCH could be renaming the building to the Abercrombie & Fitch Emergency Department and Trauma Center. 

It makes sense for their CSR attempt tot arget children in hopes to further encourage support for its children’s store, abercrombie kids. However, Abercrombie & Fitch needs to change their advertising campaign. The use of sexual advertisements to represent a company that targets children and teens doesn’t seem to go hand-in-hand with a children’s hospital and many are speaking out against this relationship. The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has sent a letter signed by approximately 70 pediatricians and academics stating their position on the situation.

Both the New York Times and Fox News have covered the protest against renaming the hospital. Fox News features an article written by the Associated Press that ends with the following quote: “Abercrombie & Fitch is well known for pushing the envelope in terms of teen sexuality, and to have an emergency room named after them is ludicrous,” said Dr. Victor Strasburger, a professor of pediatrics at the University of New Mexico, who signed the letter faxed to Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

How would you handle the bad press from this CSR move? I think it’s time for some crisis communication.