CNN reports that the Gap has fired a vendor in India for using child labor to create sunglasses for its upcoming Holiday collection at Gap Kids (oh, the irony). Gap President Marka Hansen is “deeply disturbted”, “upset” and “angry” that this occurred. I believe it, however in a global economy corporations should be meticulous about the business they keep, even if it does end up being outsourced.
While they did ditch the vendor, one point of difference I have with the action was that reportedly the sunglasses these kids were creating have been destroyed. I’m not sure that I believe it, because surely they’ll turn up on the black market, but why destroy the sunglasses? Doesn’t that seem to be counterproductive to the point of the kids working in the first place? They weren’t in the sweatshop because they’re rich, so rather than destroy them why not create a cause out of it? Sell the sunglasses and let the profits go directly to a trust fund for the kids in India to pay for housing, food, school — and yes — clothes.