The issue first came up a couple of years ago, actually, but I really didn’t have time to deal with it then. It was just weeks before my son’s bar mitzvah and I was in dire need of a pair of black jeans. I headed to the store, tried on half a dozen pair hoping to find one that would not require tailoring (yeah, right) and choose one. Phew!
As I sat in the dressing room waiting for the tailor to pin the jeans I saw it. It had actually been tucked in a back pocket so I missed it at first. The tag. NYDJ had jumped onto the pink bandwagon and become a Komen supporter. Ouch.
Don’t tell anyone, but I bought the jeans.
Fast forward. I’ve been inundated with work – professional and volunteer – and trying desperately to catch up lately. (It’s one of a few reasons I haven’t been blogging much, so thanks for your understanding). Well, as luck would have it, tonight I finished a major project and I wanted to kicked back!
Hello, RealSimple. Just me, the couch and the glossy pages ripe and ready to get me ready for fall. Yahoo!
Flipping through the fall fashion pages, page 81 to be exact, BAM! Wacol has a full page, pink ad. That’s fine, no worries. Until I read the small print: Wacoal is a proud sponsor of Susan G. Komen. My condolences, Wacoal, but Susan is dead, and I will venture to guess YOU are sponsoring Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and THEY are not one of my favorite charities.
Wacoal, of course, is as entitled to their choices as I am mine, and I respect that. But is leaves me asking – what do you do when your favorite brands go to the Dark Side of pink?
For what it’s worth, it truly does make me think twice, it makes me question their judgement, and it often leaves me to find another brand (and I must say, I’m pretty happy I don’t need new bras right now!). But here’s the thing: if I jump off the Wacoal ship, so what? Who cares? Who besides me and the person processing my Nordstrom credit card even knows???
In the world of pink activism (and really, it’s not just about pink), it’s time to start speaking up. As a teenager I boycotted Nestle products because of their infant formula practices in Third World countries, had to wait for more than 30 minutes to get a pizza when Domino’s supported anti-choice causes, and more recently I quietly stopped shopping at Target when they made donations to anti-Gay marriage candidates. But in none of these cases did I inform the company what I was doing or why. Passive protest is easy, but letting companies and even organizations know why we make the consumer choices we do is our only shot at a meaningful impact.
What do YOU do when your favorite brands let you down?