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First Freedom First Stays Mum on its T-Shirt Ethics

First Freedom First, a non-profit organization powered by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, got itself kicked off my priority list by inviting me to a “simulcast” protest event that ended up being the playing of a pre-recorded DVD.

Around the same time, I noticed that FFF had opened a store selling shirts that were made in countries that had records of sweatshop production, by companies with histories of sweatshop production. First Freedom First maintains a contact e-mail account at questions@firstfreedomfirst.org, and I sent them an e-mail message way back in March, eight months ago:

My name is James Cook, I’m a resident of Columbus Ohio (who is looking forward to attending the simulcast tonight), and I have a question regarding the Online Shop First Freedom First has set up through CafePress.

I notice that FFF is selling shirts, some of which are made overseas by subcontractors to corporations that have a history of sweatshop labor. Would FFF consider selling shirts with a less questionable ethical history? CafePress offers a set of American Apparel shirts which are made domestically in an above-board factory situation. Skreened (at skreened.com) offers a yet-wider selection of American Apparel shirts. Also, Zazzle (at zazzle.com) offers American-made union shirts as well as American Apparel shirts — as well as the interesting Edun Live shirts made in Africa through a factory system set up with the help of Bono.

I am not an employee (or family member of an employee) of any of these online companies. I just am interested in FFF taking its ethical lens on the world and applying it to its own sales system. Is FFF willing to investigate a change in this regard?

Sincerely,

James Cook

I said at the time that I’d be sure be sure to share any response I get with you. In all this time, I’ve gotten absolutely no response.

I’m sending the message again tonight, and I’ll let you know if I get any word back. I encourage you to write this organization, which builds its reputation on a concern with ethics, a message of your own.

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