community-based, non-corporate, participatory media
Environmentalists Expose "Victoria's Dirty Secret"
by Michael Croland Sunday, Dec. 12, 2004 at 1:47 PM
Victoria's secret mails out 395 million catalogs each year from virgin fiber paper with little or no recycled content
A dozen environmentalists braved snowfall outside Victoria’s Secret yesterday to protest the company’s logging of endangered forests to mail out 395 million catalogs each year from virgin fiber paper with little or no recycled content.
The activists received the following inquiries from passersby, which warrant careful consideration.
?"Do they make bras out of trees"?
No, but they do advertise them by mailing more than a million catalogs daily. “There’s nothing sexy about cutting down vast swaths of forests to make junk mail,” noted Peter McKosky, one of the protesters. “Five acres of forest are cut every minute in Canada, over half of it to make paper. As a leader of the catalog industry, Victoria’s Secret has the power to change that.” Even worse, most of the paper comes from endangered forests, particularly from the Canadian Boreal and U.S. South.
?"And they destroy them to make underwear"?
No, but hopefully they’ll stop destroying them so much for catalogs. This demonstration was part of a national campaign organized by the San Francisco-based ForestEthics. The campaign demands that Victoria’s Secret maximize post-consumer recycled content in catalogs (achieve 50% post-consumer recycled in five years), stop purchasing paper from endangered forests, and reduce paper use.
?"And their products are crap"!
We respect your opinion but do not have an official position on this matter.
?"It’s like the people who were protesting foie gras the other day"!
This event was organized by Voices for Animals, which also runs the Foie-Gras Free Pittsburgh campaign (for more information, http://www.PghFoieGras.com). Voices for Animals is a grassroots, Pittsburgh-based animal rights group that promotes animal rights and vegetarianism through education, community outreach, and demonstrations.
E-mail the CEO of Victoria’s Secret and learn more about the campaign at http://www.VictoriasDirtySecret.net.
Victoria's Secret is also using non-union printers to print their catalogs. GCIU has a campaign targeting companies like Ikea and Victoria's Secret. GCIU local 23 here in Pittsburgh has been involed in the campaign.
They are looking for card check agreements with World Color - the biggest printer in the world with plants throughout the united states. The binderies associated with world color plants are gennerally considered to be sweatshops. I can confirm that for the World Color plant in New Haven CT where I spent 6 months organizing. The printers are gennerally high paid white guys while the bindery workers are minimum wage women of color. The bosses strategey is to split the bargaining units and revel in working class sexisim and racism. It's an unpretty thing - it works for the boss.
Saw a great presentation on this GCIU campaign by Sany Weaver of GCIU at the Fort Wayne Cultures of Solidarity workers meeting over the summer.
A little positive advice
by J-Bake Saturday, Jan. 15, 2005 at 10:02 AM
I've participated in a number actions fairly similar to this one. If I've learned anything, its that people will continue with their destructive behavior unless they are given better alternatives. For example, did you have have a list of places people could go if they really agreed with you, but really really needed sexy underwear? The sad fact is that in our consumer society, people often put their morals aside for things they want.
Now I dont know if you did or not, but you may want to simply make up a few (at least 20) (quarter page sized) pamplets next time
by C-Dog Monday, Jan. 17, 2005 at 5:50 AM
Wouldn't making pamphlets just waste more trees? I always hate when I go to a protest and after it's done the streets are littered with pamphlets and flyers that have been discarded and wasted. Or, is destroying the environment tolerable as long as the subject matter is seen by activists as worthy? I hope those protesters recycled thier banners when they were done with them.
Victoria's Others Dirty Secret
by David Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2005 at 6:56 PM
One of my personal axes to grind is that the City of Victoria, B.C. continues practice of piping raw, untreated sewage into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, waters shared by Puget Sound. While we can make great proclamations in placing orca whale pods on the endangered list, what impact will that have until we turn up the heat on our nearest neighbor to stop dumping their untreated waste and garbage into the very waters the whales (and others) need to survive? It is unconscionable, and I refuse to visit Victoria again. See the latest Seattle PI article on the subject: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/6420AP_WA_Victoria_Sewage.html