New Criticals

Recently a new certification has appeared, for companies interested in more than just the profit, and with a commitment to environmental sustainability. B corporations are encouraged to comply with a set of guidelines to ensure their consumers that their services or products are in some way not further damaging the ecological environment. The label is now associated with some of the most trendy companies and a new wave of consumers are seeking their products to placate their worries of environmental collapse.

However, the most disregarded aspect of consumption in the online era, and perhaps since the industrial revolution, is the means of production. While fair trade labeling addressed some of the issues over wages paid to farmers for their work in the fields of coffee and of other commodities. No single label in the market today ensures that products are produced or manufactured by employees paid a living wage or have the most basic workplace safeguards. Places like American Apparel have tried to address this issue, with their label “no sweatshop labor” and “made in the U.S.A.” Still, no national movement exists to ensure fair standards of payment for agricultural migrant laborers, food service employees, and other non-national workers.