September 10, 2003
Yes! Finally, this is something that's needed to happen for a long time. Activists love to go after Nike like the company is sitting on a mountain of cocaine and the activists need a fix. I agree strongly with these activists on some issues and disagree with them just as strongly on others. Regardless I as so damn down with what they are doing with blackSpot.
This is protest as it should be done. There is a space for criticism, especially of the constructive sort. But bitching and moaning will only get you so far. And boycotts and protests will only get you another inch or two farther. If you have a problem with a product or company then the constructive path is to build a better product.
Now I have certain doubts and issues with their approach, and similar issue with their parents at Adbusters, but that is for another post. Right now I am here to praise them. I once spent an entire day researching alternatives to Nike. The short version? There are Nike's on my feet right now.
The Longer? Well, most sneakers are built in sweatshops and even if they aren't the products they are made of probably are. Even if they aren't its almost impossible to prove it given the messy chain of suppliers involved, information that is often not publicly available anyway.
The only really sweatshop free sneakers are made in the US or Europe, and personally I like my money going all over the world, even if it risks funding a sweatshop or two. Plus the two US made sneaker brands are Sausony and New Balance. Now Sausony makes great shoes, but every pair I've owned has warn out at the rear inside corner of the sole within a few months. They just aren't made for my feet. As for New Balance, lets just say you couldn't make an uglier sneaker if you wrapped an insole in plaster then ran over it with a tractor while a dog humps it. I'll take my Nike's instead please, size 11 thank you.
But now we have an alternative in the mix. More importantly it sets the stage for a whole new breed of protest and transformation of the world. Finally activists might start waking up and realize that capital is a tool not the enemy. I'll be writing a lot more about this in the near future.Posted by Abe at September 10, 2003 08:44 PM