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(CULTURE) GAP
There’s a lot of heat on Gap’s new campaign featuring Waris Ahluwalia, a Sikh Indian-American designer and actor. Social media is buzzing with positive reviews from those excited to see a Sikh portrayed in popular ads, and negative comments reducing his image to crass stereotypes. Showing support in the face of lewd comments and defaced physical ads, Gap made Waris’ photo their twitter cover; described ridiculously by the Huffington Post headline as an “Incredible Response From (the) Company.” 
Wait, I mean— really?? We at Browntourage are all about diversity in media, and while this campaign is a step forward in recognizing positive visual representation of Brown people, it’s also ignoring some key stats about THE GAP. While preaching diversity in it’s ads, the company has exempted itself from financial responsibility toward safety in the factories it operates in Bangladesh. According to Daily Finance:

"On the heels of a garment factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,100 workers, many well-known companies signed the Bangladesh Factory Safety Accord to improve safety conditions for the employees of their suppliers there — companies such as PVH (PVH), which owns Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Izod; Swedish retailer H&M; Inditex, which owns Zara; and Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF).Conspicuously absent from the list: Walmart (WMT) and Gap (GPS).Turned off by the accord’s legally binding provisions, according to The Wall Street Journal, Walmart and Gap have essentially exempted themselves from the risk of having to pay penalties for failing to meet the accord’s commitments to protect worker safety.”

Although the company has agreed to an alternative, it means a cash advance to the factories- perhaps the thinnest bandaid ever.
So, while we praise one step forward in brown visibility, we mourn the thousands who remain invisible, working in unsafe factories (dying in them) while we wear our new Gap threads because the ads are *spicy* and the “epic” social media cover photo move was enough a show of solidarity to feel cozy inside.
Waris is a charming, cosmopolitan gentleman- and he is also not the face of change. Gap’s only response is that of Settings -> Change Background. No official statement has been released and I’m surprised to see so many reputable journalists applauding them for— continuing to advertise? 
For true change, we can “vote with our dollars,” and choose companies that value practices you want to see more of in the world, and spread this message to provide alternative stories to the social media buzz. For true change, Gap could utilize the buzz around racist comments to educate their audience about prejudice and racism.
So, Gap, if you’re listening. Let’s build a bridge. Or perhaps build a little more stability in those factories of yours. According to the FAQ section of the Act, it’s never too late to sign!

(CULTURE) GAP

There’s a lot of heat on Gap’s new campaign featuring Waris Ahluwalia, a Sikh Indian-American designer and actor. Social media is buzzing with positive reviews from those excited to see a Sikh portrayed in popular ads, and negative comments reducing his image to crass stereotypes. Showing support in the face of lewd comments and defaced physical ads, Gap made Waris’ photo their twitter cover; described ridiculously by the Huffington Post headline as an “Incredible Response From (the) Company.” 

Wait, I mean— really?? We at Browntourage are all about diversity in media, and while this campaign is a step forward in recognizing positive visual representation of Brown people, it’s also ignoring some key stats about THE GAP. While preaching diversity in it’s ads, the company has exempted itself from financial responsibility toward safety in the factories it operates in Bangladesh. According to Daily Finance:

"On the heels of a garment factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,100 workers, many well-known companies signed the Bangladesh Factory Safety Accord to improve safety conditions for the employees of their suppliers there — companies such as PVH (PVH), which owns Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Izod; Swedish retailer H&M; Inditex, which owns Zara; and Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF).

Conspicuously absent from the list: Walmart (WMT) and Gap (GPS).

Turned off by the accord’s legally binding provisions, according to The Wall Street Journal, Walmart and Gap have essentially exempted themselves from the risk of having to pay penalties for failing to meet the accord’s commitments to protect worker safety.”

Although the company has agreed to an alternative, it means a cash advance to the factories- perhaps the thinnest bandaid ever.

So, while we praise one step forward in brown visibility, we mourn the thousands who remain invisible, working in unsafe factories (dying in them) while we wear our new Gap threads because the ads are *spicy* and the “epic” social media cover photo move was enough a show of solidarity to feel cozy inside.

Waris is a charming, cosmopolitan gentleman- and he is also not the face of change. Gap’s only response is that of Settings -> Change Background. No official statement has been released and I’m surprised to see so many reputable journalists applauding them for— continuing to advertise? 

For true change, we can “vote with our dollars,” and choose companies that value practices you want to see more of in the world, and spread this message to provide alternative stories to the social media buzz. For true change, Gap could utilize the buzz around racist comments to educate their audience about prejudice and racism.

So, Gap, if you’re listening. Let’s build a bridge. Or perhaps build a little more stability in those factories of yours. According to the FAQ section of the Act, it’s never too late to sign!

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