Social Impact Proposal
In today’s era, the clothing and fashion industry has a way of setting trends into the community. However, the community that is built inside the company isn’t very glorifying as it may be perceived. In this case, as we may enjoy the products and buy them because of its look, we don’t know what really happens behind closed doors. As a consumer, we can’t fathom or simply find the need to care how producers create the item. Presumably, all fashion items do come from a factory that’s been transported into a store (unless it’s created personally). Many companies produce their works out of the United States because of cheaper duties and higher production which is understandable. But unfortunately, the cons outweighs the goods in terms of management and quality. Adidas, being a notable famous brand world-wide has been under heat in their companies. Adidas hasn’t been a known to be a company that’s been under fire. In fact, they’ve been known as company of social uprising. The perception we see here is a company of prominence, but what we fail to recognize is the lives of the workers that are in the factories. Some reported factories aren’t treated with care and the management is negligent.
Given the fact that, “The clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world … second only to oil.” (Eileen Fisher) We should be able to dissect what goes on in the industry that would give it such a title. The first thought that comes to mind when you mention what is polluting are air, the average person would thing strip mines or coal power plants. We can’t undermine the waste created by the clothing industry as it serves its fair share. By looking into galvanizing the clothing industry has always been a topic of discussion. The fashion industry is actually a very complex industry where even organic cotton would utilize approximately 5,000 gallons of water to manufacture the simplest pair of jeans or t-shirt. The clothing industry doesn’t mention the effects of color dye or that it’s a leading cause to the chemical fukushima in the Citarum River. The Citarum in Indonesia is widely considered one of the most polluted rivers in the world because of the textile factories hoovering the shores of it.
It’s important to note how great the shoe industry effects our environment. Like clothes, Shoes are very integral part to our society and everyone should have multiple pairs of kicks that they wear. According to Jean-Paul from the chic ecologist “It’s estimated that 20 billion pairs of shoes are produced annually, with roughly 300 million pairs ending up in landfills after they have been worn.” By manufacturing shoes, there are many threats to our plant due to make fossil fuels, toxins, and chemicals that are harming our environment from every step we take. Shoes can’t be manufactured without the machines and chemicals. To operate the machines fossil fuels which causes greenhouse gases are needed. While coal is burning it produces enormous amounts of carbon dioxide that has and will continue to join the cause of global warming and climate change. On average one shoe could produce up to 30 pounds of carbon dioxide. Once shoes are tossed out, the prime destination they go to next are landfills. Once they arrive in the landfill, the shoes presence may quickly contaminate drinking water and the soil. This is where the chemicals used to manufacture starts to leak into the soil as the shoe starts to decompose. The large amounts of chemicals utilized in the manufacturing of shoes are not only a threat to the wildlife but to human beings as well.
Adidas is a company that played a large roll in their manufacturing products that may have irrevocably harmed rivers across the planet. In 2011 it was reported that the Yangtze and the Pearl River Deltas in China were greatly affected by the usage of chemicals. According to Greenpeace both rivers are heavy suppliers of drinking water to approximately 67 million civilians in China and Hong Kong. Hazardous chemicals simply have no place in the environment. In my essay I’ll explain three areas of where Adidas could use extreme vetting in bettering its company in forms humanity, environmentally, and socially.
It’s very well stated in Adidas code of conduct that they fundamentally believe in fair play and complaint business conduct play an integral role in the success of the company. To enable long term success, it’s the reputation and perception of the outer world they must reserve. According to the War on Want’s campaign that explicitly exploited Adidas, had alternative truths that contradicts Adidas’s code of conduct. In Indonesia, many stories has leaked upon abusive treatment and working in sweatshop like conditions. By committing to productive work, Adidas must stay on pace and continue to work. It’s also been investigated that the money being paid is very little. Adidas Company is forcing workers to work extra to not even cover their basic needs. Many factories don’t even pay the amount of the country’s legal minimum wage. Without basic needs, it’s almost insurmountable to pay for clothing, education, healthcare, housing, and food. This allows workers to have to skip meals just to save money which garners exhaustion through strenuous hours of work. These factories are spread throughout overseas such as Sri Lanka, Philippines, Indonesia, and China. Our PCR stands to protect Basic Worker Rights. We believe that employers are the core of the company in terms of production and they should be paid well, treated with proper ethics, and to work in safe/humane working conditions. Adidas current treatment towards workers are harmful and unethical. Adidas can’t abuse its power, the best interest for the company must be in the name of living treatment. Adidas can’t thrive as a company unless the environment itself goes through positive change.
Although Adidas has worked diligently to improve their factories today, previously they had some unacceptable working condition. In Indonesia, during the process of creating the Olympics sportswear, it was reported that in nine factories workers’ rights has been violated tremendously. According to the independent, it was said that the workers had been forced to work approximately 65 hours a week and earn nothing more than 34 pence an hour (44 cents USD). A spokeswoman for The London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) had stated “We have spoken to Adidas and they have assured us that they are investigating these allegations, the conclusions of which will be made public.” These labor conditions are looked to be categorized as a sweatshop. How can anyone live off of this? This is an extreme danger to the health of the workers. In the heat of assembling the Olympic gear together and to keep up the quality Adidas should accept volunteers pay their workers additionally in overtime. In an already unsafe environment, it isn’t ideal to allow these workers to be suffering just to meet the demands of the Olympics. Better planning and managing may help tremendously. By giving your workers what is owed and offering incentives, for the ones who need the money. Implement a welcoming system of overtime. This resonates with the dignity of work and rights of workers. Adidas must serve its people right and respect them. By giving them decent pay, productivity should increase. One might talk about the high demands in payments might cost people their jobs. With less jobs available, productivity could decline. Once you allow volunteers to work into overtime, there is a great chance that the work might not be done in quality. It may just be easier to have them need to come to work rather than having them want too. People feel workers need a little edge but they need to get paid what they earn. It’ll be hard to find a serviceable workers if they aren’t treated fairly. By choosing profit over humanity, it can be very detrimental to the company and be costly with future lawsuits and productivity. The company would suit a better reputation by following things as simple as human standards and pay.
In the month of April 2014, 118 factory workers reportedly had fell sick and passed out in a factory in Cambodia. The sportswear factory had many of their workers to go through medical treatment and investigations were on the way. According to one factory worker Nguon Sarith said, “It was hot and I began to vomit, I had diarrhea and others had the same problems.” According to some of the workers strong chemicals, poor ventilation, and the potent glue they used for shoes may have played a factor in the busy day. Some even felt it may have been food poising. The number 118 is extremely high, especially for one day worth of sickness, if people are starting to feel sick and pass out something is seriously wrong. We simply can’t have that. This needs extreme vetting in the overall establishment of the company. This isn’t fair, human beings are passing out left and right. These practices of the current working conditions are unacceptable. Simply, what needs to be done is a full confrontation between Adidas, the factory, and veteran workers. A consensus agreement has to be done and the voices of the workers must to be heard. Without good health in workers, work can’t be done. By expressing interest in fixing the ventilation, lighten up on the chemicals, and using eco-friendly products may help tremendously. It might be difficult to maintain alternative products in creation of a shoe. Although it occurred in one factory, how about the rest? In other factories across the globe, people aren’t passing out. Adidas created shoe products for decades glue and chemicals may not be the main reason. Although this was disturbing, the rights of the workers have to be reestablished and their requests may help structure the business to steer in a good direction. Eco-friendly material may help greatly. Being known to have eco-friendly material may help the company build a rapport with not only it’s producers but its consumers. Adidas has instructed a life cycle assessment on recycled polyester and previously looked at alternative sources to use better materials for the long run. The ball is in Adidas court and they should look at alternative ideas to make shoe products better for the environment.
Socially, Adidas as a company sets the tone in the trend of new clothing gear. As one of official sponsors of the World Cup Games, Adidas has the job to create unique ideas and clothing based off of the nature of Rio Brazil. In February 2014, When Adidas was doing just that and completing their job, Adidas was forced to remove two shirts from their catalog by the government of Brazil. The shirts were described by having, “One shirt shows a bikini-clad woman with open arms on a sunny Rio de Janeiro beach under the word-play ‘Looking to Score.’ The other has an ‘I love Brazil’ heart resembling the upside-down buttocks of a woman wearing a thong bikini bottom.” The two shirts were deemed to be ‘raunchy.’ The government adamantly felt that Adidas was potentially creating a stereotype and bringing the thoughts of sexual tourism. After getting harsh criticism, Adidas had agreed to stop selling two shirts ahead of the world cup. Adidas the company claims that that “always pays close attention to the opinion of its consumers and partners.” For the benefits of every side Adidas was willing to make a change. The shirts were preposterous and it displayed the view of the country to be very sexual. The government had to take action to restore its reputation and wanted to gain seriousness for the actual tournament. “We want to make it very clear to our main commercial partners in tourism that Brazil does not tolerate this type of crime in its territory,” said Flavio Dino. Brazil seemed very concerned about the nation’s image. Adidas is the second largest sportswear brand in the world. They’ve been creative and helped with various events over the years. Why did they change? They should stick to the same script they’re used to and relate the event with something more moderate such as the beaches rather than ‘sexy woman.’ The company needs to be creative, from a business point of view, you want to sell what is widely appealing. The government seems to be a little insecure to insinuate two shirts can hurt the nation’s reputation. Clothes are taken to a certain extent and it’s not fair to believe a shirt symbolizes a country. Consumers wouldn’t feel the country is being exploited. The creativity can’t be enabled by restricting some clothes and not allowing some clothes be sold in worldwide events. Soccer is a very widely known sport worldwide. People would buy anything and the shirts would likely sell out because of the event. Regardless, Adidas does not have to change their look because of the World Cup. Stick to the same style they are used to, at the end of the day it revolves around soccer and the fans will buy it.
Throughout my Proposal, It was evident that Adidas has a huge role in the social and environmental changes in the world. Adidas is a very prominent company that really focuses on its reputation and they’re negligent with its working facilities. With safer working conditions, using eco-friendly materials, renewable energy, and reserving its workers’ rights, Adidas can become a genuinely respected company that can collectively benefit its workers and the Earth entirely.
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