It seems like just yeterday that Gap and Nike were the pariahs of the ethical trading community. They’ve since been welcomed back into it, with Gap now being a member of the ETI (Ethical Trading Initiative). Nike, since revealing all of its global suppliers last month, is considering membership.
While it would be nice to believe these two transnational entities are pusuing CSR (Corporate Social Responsinbility) soley for the sake of human welfare, CSR has become a part of bottom line reality. Shaw Lebakae, of the Lesotho Clothing and Allied Workers Union, said:
Gap had to change because its brand and image was being damaged. The people who it was selling to, American college students, were protesting against them because they didn’t want to support that image. Companies like Wal-Mart, which have no brand or image other than being the cheapest retailer, have no impetus to engage with trade unions in our country.