Saturday, March 6, 2010

Expect Not-So-Great Things in Kohl's Supply Chain

In reading this article - I will boycott Kohl's until they make a significant difference in their supply chain!

Dear Kohl’s,

Over the last several years, I have fallen in love with you. In 2009, particularly, the clothes, shoes, and other home items I purchased -- armed with sales info and in-store coupons -- cemented my adoration. Add to the fantastic selection of products your charitable work, specifically in the form of Kohl’s Cares for Kids, through which the niftiest books are sold to benefit health and education programs in the U.S., and you have yourself a fan. Check Facebook: It’s true.

But then I read about your induction into the Sweatshop Hall of Shame. The International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) placed you on the 2010 roster for inaction regarding unsafe labor conditions at your Turkish linen supplier, Menderes Tekstil. Four people died at this factory. Who knows what other atrocities are going on there daily? You certainly don’t, because, in spite of efforts by the ILRF and other groups to reach out and assist with a review and cleanup of labor practices at Menderes Tesktil, you haven’t done a thing.

Incidentally, I discovered this information approximately two weeks after purchasing bed sheets in your online store. I was not pleased. The sheets are “dirty” in my mind, and needless to say, I have trouble sleeping on them at night.

A company that claims to care about customers and kids, while supporting dangerous factory conditions for the workers -– the people -– in its supply chain, is inconsistent, at best. At worst, it is exploitive, irresponsible and weak for looking the other way. You tell us to “expect great things,” Kohl’s, and I really do. Tackle the situation at Menderes Tekstil and show consumers you care about a cleaner supply chain.

Most sincerely,

Angela Longerbeam

Join me in telling Kohl’s CEO Kevin Mansell to combine forces with ILRF in reviewing, addressing and ultimately eliminating unsafe, unfair conditions for workers at Menderes Teskstil.
Photo credit: hattiesburgmemory