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Would knowing the politics of a company change the brand of clothes you buy?

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I’ve been thinking about the link between fashion and politics since reading about people boycotting Target because of campaign contributions by the company to candidates in Minnesota who oppose same-sex marriage.

The incident made me realize that I don’t really know a lot about the companies I buy from. I’ve never thought about whether the $50 I pay for a dress has some greater effect on political funding. Then I stumbled upon this chart at OpenSecrets.org, Center for Responsive Politics, and was really wowed by the political leanings of clothing companies.

Do you know which party Fruit of the Loom, Guess? Inc. or Levi Strauss & Co support the most often? I didn’t until now.

I’m not sure yet what this information means to me. I’ve always shopped based on my likes, value and need. I’m not sure I want to mesh my politics into my everyday shopping. But then I wonder if voting with my pocketbook and caring more about campaign contributions, especially now that companies and unions can give more, would have more effect than I think? It’s definitely something to think about.

Responses to "Would knowing the politics of a company change the brand of clothes you buy?"

well... says:

You may not want to mesh politics into your shopping, but it’s your money those companies use to support their causes…. so it’s meshed already, whether we want it or not :-/

Felix says:

Spending money is ALWAYS a political act and is our only true voice, at least the only one that gets heard.

pk says:

Kinda like buying or not buying the newspaper or entertainment from particular actors, musicians etc. once you know their politics?!!

yup…people do that all the time…

bradley says:

i agree with this. do not be afraid of knowing what your money may be supporting. you have choices. you can bring those choices in line with your own beliefs.

Famous says:

I’ll just say, it gets tiring.

Donald Munro says:

Interesting point, Famous. At some point our brains become saturated with so much information that it’s hard to know what’s important to act upon and what we should just forget about.

Conlan says:

The thing I don’t like about charts like the one mentioned is that it appears to include the contributions of individual employees in the calculations. This seems to encourage punishing (or rewarding) companies for what their employees do with their own money. I think that opens up a dangerous area of political litmus tests where job interviews could turn into supreme court nominee hearings.

I’m OK with evaluating a company based on official (PAC or even CEO, etc.) contributions.

Kathy Mahan says:

It really does seem impossible to know about every product or store one shops at – that would take a lot of research.

mdub420 says:

if i took the time to find out what all of these companies believe and where they use the money i give them politically, i may have to grow my own food and knit my own clothes.

Lisi says:

I like to think my meager purchases go to pay wages of store employees and all the people involved in making, shipping, processing the products. I think boycotting companies because you don’t like their political beliefs is silly, since having differences and being able to express them is what is great about our country. I’ll save my outrage for human rights violations and unfair practices.