Friday, October 13, 2006


I am watching Oprah right now. Say what you want, but I think she's great. Today's show is about the launch of (Product) Red, a brain child of Bono (another celebrity that I love). (Product) Red is a campaign that was formed because it costs so little to do so much to combat AIDS in Africa. In other words, people are going to buy GAP, iPod, Converse, Motorola, etc, so why not give them ways for those purchases to provide drugs for people that need them. Different companies have agreed to provide special (red) lines in which some of the proceeds go to support AIDS treatment.

Obviously this raises some questions about stewardship. Sure, I bought a pair of jeans this month that cost $30. Instead of buying the jeans, I could have fed one child for a month; or I could have provided anti-retrovirals for two people for a month. Maybe it would be better to buy cheaper jeans and up my giving. I don't usually shop at the GAP unless there's a sale going on, but I do believe in supporting companies that stand for something. I wouldn't buy $150 jeans just so $75 would go to Africa, but I would buy the sweet t-shirt for $30. $15 goes to Africa, and I have a shirt that raises awareness. Plus, there are certain things we are going to buy anyway. I will at some point get a new cell phone. People buy these things, so money may as well go to people who need it. The (Product)Red website says that isn't a charity. It is a business model.

Of course, I'd like to snoop around a bit to see if all of these products are made in ways that are fair to the people making them. I'll get back to you on that. I really want one of the GAP t-shirts though.


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