Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Top Four for Jewelry Companies

Do you love jewelry? Do you want to love jewelry and be a good consumer simultaneously? Then, here are a couple of jewelry companies to stay away from:

1) Jostner

2) Wal-Mart

3) Rolex

Click here to see why these three companies are not so good.

See below for better alternatives!

1) Ten Thousand Villages
Scroll down to view some great articles on the fabulous retailer.

2) Zale Corporation
Quick Fact: North America's largest fine jewelry retailer

Zale Corporation takes ethical practices very seriously.

Click here to find out more information.

Also, Zale Corporation has a Vendor Code of Conduct.

3) Signet Corporation
Quick Fact: member of Council for Responsible Jewelry Practices

Did you know that Signet Corporation is a member of the No Dirt Gold Campaign? click here to find out more information!

Signet values Corporate Social Responsibility.

We have a responsibility to provide for all our employees:

  • a healthy and safe work environment
  • fair terms, conditions of service and rewards
  • a work environment that values diversity and does not tolerate any form of unlawful discrimination on any ground or at any level
  • equal opportunities
  • training and career paths, while encouraging employees to take individual ownership of their own development
  • work-home life balance, respecting our employees' own commitments and responsibilities to family and friends.
Click Here to finish reading about Signet's ethical practices.

4) Tiffany & Co.
Quick Fact: member of Council for Responsible Jewelry Practices

On the Tiffany & Co. website, it says that the company "broadens the scope of its corporate giving efforts with grants to nonprofit organizations dedicated to the education and preservation of the arts and environmental conservation."

The No Dirty Gold Campaign names Tiffany as one of the top retailers of jewelry.

If you're wondering what CRJP is all about...check this out.

The Council for Responsible Jewellery Practices

The Council for Responsible Jewellery Practices (CRJP , “the Council”) was founded in May 2005 with Members from a cross section of the diamond and gold jewellery supply chain, from mine to retail.

Council Members are committed to promoting responsible business practices in a transparent and accountable manner throughout the industry from mine to retail. Their commitment aims to maintain consumer confidence in diamond and gold jewellery products and the trust of all interested stakeholders in their industry.

Council members believe that a coordinated worldwide approach to addressing ethical, social and environmental challenges will drive continuous improvement throughout the jewellery industry to the benefit of our stakeholders everywhere. This, in turn, will maintain and promote consumer confidence in our industry. The Council will enable the industry to work together to improve standards and practices, and reduce duplication of efforts as a result.

To give you a little bit of helpful information on Tiffany & Co.,


Since its inception in 1837, Tiffany & Co. has been guided by the belief that a successful company has a responsibility to the greater community. Through The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, the company broadens the scope of its corporate giving efforts with grants to nonprofit organizations dedicated to the education and preservation of the arts and environmental conservation

It is from nature that Tiffany & Co. draws the raw materials and inspiration that have shaped the company's design heritage. The mission of the foundation's Environment Program is to support organizations dedicated to the conservation of natural resources in the areas of responsible mining, coral reef conservation and land protection.

The Environment Program seeks to accomplish its mission both domestically and internationally by promoting collaboration and capacity building in the following areas:

*Responsible Mining
The foundation supports capacity building to promote responsible mining.

*Coral Reef Conservation
The foundation supports research as well as community-led work promoting the conservation of our coral reefs.

*Land Protection
The foundation supports the implementation of comprehensive land conservation strategies. Support will focus on communities in which Tiffany & Co. operates.

Since 1837, Tiffany & Co. has held a strong belief that good design is good business. The foundation has a special appreciation and commitment to advance the arts by supporting the critically important work of educational, artistic, and cultural institutions dedicated to design excellence and to preserving the past and enriching the present and future. Tiffany & Co. is proud of its American heritage and it is in this vein that the foundation supports bringing premier American arts and cultural institutions to international audiences.

The Arts Program seeks to accomplish its mission in the following areas:

*Promoting America's Premier Cultural Institutions
The foundation supports cultural institutions in New York City that promote the arts in the City and internationally, including performances, exhibitions, seminars and educational programs which engage, inspire and inform the public.

*Preservation and Conservation
The foundation supports organizations that preserve the historic and cultural legacy of the arts through the preservation and conservation of national treasures. In addition, the foundation believes that skilled craftspeople are an essential ingredient to the field of arts and culture. The foundation awards grants to institutions providing talented artisans with the necessary instruction to become highly skilled professionals in jewelry and metalsmithing.

*Decorative Arts
The foundation supports undergraduate and graduate educational institutions and programs dedicated to the study of jewelry and silver design. In addition, the foundation supports academic scholarship of American jewelry at the graduate and post-graduate level and bringing this study to the international level. The foundation also makes grants to exhibitions which focus on jewelry and silver.

Quick Facts about Target

1) Forbes article discussing the five million dollar bonus CEO Robert Ulrich is receiving (labor and human rights)

2) Target used to pride itself on being the “anti-Walmart” but labor groups are now saying that Target doesn’t treat its workers any differently from Walmart’s. However, Target employees have a harder time qualifying for health care coverage

3) Quick Fact: Have outsourced jobs overseas to save costs, have repressed efforts to organize in stores, oppose unions

4) Quick Fact: UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers Union), the largest retail labor union in the nation has failed in repetitive attempts at organizing groups at Target!

5) Target doesn’t give compensation for the original artist’s work; will take “SAMPLES” and reproduce the work abroad and sell it in stores!!! (http://www.buyblue.org/node/2423)- copyright infringement basically

A sad story: “I fell in target may 2005 I hurt myself bad and target refuse to pay my doctor bill said it was my fault I had no business reaching for a soda the soda fell and I fell real hard on the floor and tore the ligaments in my right shoulder my lawyer did not do a good job helping me so now I have a doctor bill for $5000 and no help from target I spend a lot of money in target out of my retirement check. I got a letter and a call from a claims examiner and she says target is standing by their word I will not get anything. Please if anyone can email me and tell me how to get help please do. My shoulder hurts so bat the pain is terrible I am 64 years old with a terrible pain” (http://www.buyblue.org/node/2423)

Be sure to check out the following articles on Target Corporation!

1) Corp Watch

2) Forbes

3) Buy Blue

4) Save Roe

Fast Facts

Fast Facts

Worldwide some 2.7 million tons (2.4 million metric tons) of plastic are used to bottle water each year, according to Earth Policy Institute. (National Geographic).

The average wage paid to manufacturing workers in China is 20¢-25¢ an hour. (Center for Research on Multinational Corporations-- Amsterdam)

Workers at a jeans factory in Kenya, producing jeans for Wal-Mart, are discouraged from joining unions, despite Wal-Mart’s policy that allows workers to join unions. (Oxfam)

Workers at a factory in Saipan, a US territory, making Abercrombie clothes are paid around $3.00 an hour. (Conscious Consumer) Which is a lot compared to workers in a Gap factory who make 30¢ an hour.

Maybelline and Cover Girl are manufactured by Proctor and Gamble. Proctor and Gamble uses Huntingdon Life Sciences for their cosmetics testing. Huntingdon Life Sciences kills, on average, 500 animals a day.

McDonalds uses genetically modified potatoes for its French fries. McDonalds fries contain dairy and what ingredients, yet said in 2002 that their fries were dairy and gluten-free.

Bleach, if mixed with ammonia, releases toxic chloramine gas. Short-term exposure may cause mild asthmatic symptoms or more serious respiratory problems.

Nitrobenzene (in furniture and floor polishes) can cause skin discoloration, shallow breathing, vomiting, and death; associated with cancer and birth defects. A safer alternative would be to use cornstarch, which can be used to can be used to clean windows, polish furniture, shampoo carpets and rugs, and starch clothes.

According to the National Research Council, "no toxic information is available for more than 80% of the chemicals in everyday-use products. Less than 20% have been tested for acute effects and less than 10% have been tested for chronic, reproductive or mutagenic effects."

Union leaders who work at Coca-Cola bottling plants in Colombia have been killed because of their union membership.

According to local NGOs in Sierra Leone, some 1500 children work in diamond mines in slave-like conditions, working for around $0.50 a day.


Gap, Penney's Settle Sweatshop Suit

MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 26, 2002

J.C. Penney Co. is one of the retailers agreeing to the settlement. (AP)

In addition to Target and Gap, the new settlements involve J.C. Penney Co., Abercrombie & Fitch, Lane Bryant, The Limited and Talbots.

(AP) Target Corp., Gap Inc. and five other U.S. retailers that buy clothing made on Saipan and 23 manufacturers on Thursday agreed to pay $11.25 million to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging factory sweatshop conditions.

The settlement would assure consumers who buy clothing labeled "Made in the U.S.A." that the workers who sew the clothes on Saipan, part of the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, are protected by American law, said lawyer Michael Rubin, one of the lead attorneys for the workers.

Nineteen other retailers previously reached settlements totaling $8.75 million.

In addition to Target and Gap, the new settlements involve J.C. Penney Co., Abercrombie & Fitch, Lane Bryant, The Limited and Talbots. One defendant, Levi Strauss & Co., has not agreed to the settlement but has stopped buying garments from Saipan.

The companies, which did not admit wrongdoing, agreed to adopt a code of conduct and pay for independent monitoring of factories on Saipan, a 13-mile long island in the Pacific about 3,700 miles southwest of Hawaii.

Under the settlement, each company will make a one-time contribution to a fund that will finance the monitoring program and compensate more than 30,000 garment workers. The fund also will cover administration costs and pay attorneys' fees.

A panel of three retired judges will be set up to oversee monitoring, with the power to make unannounced factory inspections and investigate worker complaints. The judges can order payment of back wages, establish corrections for violations and place manufacturers on probation for repeated noncompliance with the rules.

Thursday's agreement, if approved by the federal court, brings the total settlement fund to more than $20 million.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of 30,000 immigrant workers from nearby Asian countries, alleged a pattern of long hours, low pay and other objectionable working conditions in Saipan's garment factories, which produce more than $1 billion worth of clothing sold annually in U.S. stores.

The manufacturers agreed to comply with strict employment standards, including a guarantee of extra pay for overtime work, safe food and drinking water and other basic workers' rights. Workers who want to return to their home countries will be eligible for up to $3,000 in relocation fees.

Al Meyerhoff, co-counsel for the workers, said the plaintiffs hope to fold the 19 retailers who settled earlier into the new agreement, under which the International Labor Organization, an arm of the United Nations, would monitor the factories.

"The new agreement is far tougher," Meyerhoff said.

A hearing is scheduled in Saipan in late October where the court will be asked to give preliminary approval to the settlement. Notices then will be sent to workers giving them a chance to comment. Final settlement approval will probably come early next year, Meyerhoff said.

"We're pleased to have helped develop an enhanced monitoring program that includes remediation efforts and has the full support of the manufacturers," said Lauri Shanahan, general counsel for Gap. She said the program complements Gap's efforts to improve factory conditions.

James Hale, executive vice president and general counsel of Target, maintained that the Minneapolis-based company's own factory monitoring program was already accomplishing the same goals.

"There was no evidence ever produced of the egregious violations that were alleged," Hale said. Target settled to rid itself of the mounting costs of the lawsuit, he said. Hale declined to say how much Target has spent on its defense.

"This isn't about whether we care about factory conditions. We care a great deal about them," Hale said. "This was just a case brought by class action lawyers to stir up publicity and they did it."

Meyerhoff, however, said the settlement mandates far tougher monitoring and conduct standards than any retailer has adopted.

"I find it extraordinarily unfortunate that Target alone has chosen to be the skunk at the picnic here and would disparage what all of us worked so hard to accomplish," Meyerhoff said.

A report by the U.S. Department of Interior says factories doing business with Target have been cited numerous times for violations such as unsafe wiring, lack of needle guards on sewing machines, blocked aisles and inadequately marked exits, Meyerhoff said. Audits of those factories also have revealed that workers weren't paid for all hours they work, were penalized for not meeting quotas and were required to work long hours without a break, he said.

© MMII The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Monday, April 03, 2006

The Truth About Corona

The Corona Brewing Company (owned by Anheuser-Busch) is one of the largest sponsors of bullfighting in Latin American countries. They replaced Pepsi-Cola as the leading sponsor since 1994. For more information please follow the links listed below:

Bull Fighting
or "google" search "Corona bullfighting"

Ten Thousand Villages-Jewelry

Ten Thousand Villages News

Ten Thousand Villages Celebrates Earth Day(s)
The Earth from Space March 30, 2006 - Confused about the difference between Earth Day and International Earth Day? If you're reading this between March 20 and April 22, you have good reason. Since 1971, the United Nations celebrates International Earth Day each year on the northern hemisphere's vernal equinox (March 20 in 2006), also known as the first day of spring. But there's an Earth Day on April 22, with its roots in a 1970 event called the Environmental Teach-In. Co-founded by environmental activist senator Gaylord Nelson (D-WI), this event is widely seen as having launched the modern environmental movement in the United States.

For products handcrafted using recycled, natural and sustainable materials, see our Environmentally Friendly Collection.

For more about the two Earth Days, visit the following links:
The Origin of April 22 Earth Day
Wikipedia article about both Earth Days
U.S. Government's Earth Day page
The Nature Conservancy's Earth Day page
Read the article on the Web for a limited time.

Ten Thousand Villages Featured in New York Times
Illustration by Leif Parsons - used with permission March 20, 2006 - The purchasing behaviors of consumers— and their multiple motivations for buying gifts from fair-trade retailers such as Ten Thousand Villages— are examined in Rob Walker's "Consumed" column entitled "Values Chain" in the Sunday, March 19th edition of the New York Times Magazine. Dwayne Ball and Ronald Hampton, associate professors of marketing at the University of Nebraska, have focused on the differences between "doctrine centered" and "other centered" purchasing behaviors, and have found it useful to use Ten Thousand Villages as a "useful lens through which to view their work," writes Walker.

Ten Thousand Villages Celebrates International Women's Day
March 2, 2006 - International Women's Day will be celebrated around the world on Wednesday, March 8th, 2006. Although its roots in the U.S. go back more than 90 years, the modern incarnation of International Women's Day stems from its official sanction by the United Nations in 1975. Wednesday's celebration is about inspiring women to achieve their full potential in their homes, communities and workplaces, while honoring the courageous achievements of women past, present and future.

Many Ten Thousand Villages stores hold events in conjunction with International Women's Day. Use our store locator to find one near you. For stores without an upcoming events page, contact the store manager by phone or email. To learn more, or to search for other International Women's Day events in your area, visit http://www.internationalwomensday.com/.

FTRN Releases 4th Edition of Consumer-Focused Fair Trade Publication
March 1, 2006 - The Fair Trade Resource Network has released the fourth edition of its flagship publication, The Conscious Consumer: Promoting Economic Justice Through Fair Trade. This new and expanded edition is commonly viewed as the authoritative source for basic, comprehensive Fair Trade information. It is full of producer stories and photos, history, facts and figures, challenges and goals. Limited quantities will be available soon at Ten Thousand Villages Stores.

Since its first edition in 1999, The Conscious Consumer has proved a valuable resource for Fair Trade allies, individual consumers, the media, students and educators, advocacy and faith groups, and development workers.

The Fair Trade Resource Network, based in Washington, D.C., seeks to improve people's lives through Fair Trade alternatives by providing information, leadership, and inspiration. FTRN gathers, develops, and disseminates educational resources to people and organizations interested in the movement to build a more just and sustainable world through Fair Trade.

To order The Conscious Consumer, or for more information, visit http://www.fairtraderesource.org/.

More Stories from the Ten Thousand Villages Learning Tour to Bangladesh
February 22, 2006 - Read the latest updates from the Ten Thousand Villages staff and volunteers who went on a Learning Tour to Bangladesh.

  • Day Four: The women from Baghda Enterprises brought malas (garlands) for each of us and several beautiful pink water lily bouquets. In response to the malas, our tour leader Joanne spoke about her first trip to Baghda in 1982, when she saw the desperate situation of the women who worked there. Now as she returns, her heart is warmed to see how the lives of the women have improved. We didn't need to understand Bengali to be moved as we saw the women's faces as her words were being translated. Read more...

  • Day Five: This area is predominantly Hindu and it just so happened that today was a special Hindu holiday. At one house along the path, we were invited in to see a ceremony where a local priest was blessing the Sharashuti, the Goddess of Education. He burned leaves and sprinkled drops of ghee onto the fire while reading from the Gita. Drummers played during portions of the ceremony. The priest was one of many that will bless this statue. Read more...

  • Day Six: Eastern Screen Printers was started by Action Bag to print designs on their jute bags. They use a traditional technique, which allows them to add 5 or 6 colors. In the early years, the quality of their printing was poor. Then, David Klassen and Jim King from Mennonite Central Committee came and helped them develop their technique. They are now considered among the best screen printers in Bangladesh. Read more...

Check back for more updates from the Ten Thousand Villages Learning Tour to Bangladesh and India soon.

Ten Thousand Villages Learning Tour Reports from Bangladesh

February 7, 2006 - On January 31, 2006, fourteen staff members from Ten Thousand Villages arrived in Dhaka, Bangladesh to begin a three-week Learning Tour. Read excerpts from their travelogue below and learn how fair trade is making a difference in the lives of artisans in Bangladesh.

  • Day One: We have arrived! It is still dark, and all we can see are foggy outlines, but immediately we can feel that the air is different. We are in the tropics and the air feels moist and a little heavy. Suraiya, artist and designer from the Dhaka office for the artisan group Prokritee, is here to greet us, along with two Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) drivers and vehicles. Read more...

  • Day Two: This morning we head off to visit The Jute Works, an artisan group that is best known for the sika, or plant hanger, found in most rural homes. Braided from jute, the sika holds a stack of pots and pans, or blankets. It is like a hanging cupboard in homes that are too small to have a cupboard. The sika was easily adapted to make a plant hanger, for an export market. In the 1970s and 1980s, up to 6000 women were part of producer groups who made a wide variety of jute handicrafts. The demand for jute handicrafts has gone down over the past 20 years and The Jute Works now also has a lot of terra cotta products. In every village we visit the women ask us to "send more orders." Read more...

  • Day Three: We left the guesthouse around 8am this morning for a 250km trip to Agailjara. We have to travel several km north in order to cross the river by ferry and then we will continue the journey south. We drove for about an hour through the city and the outskirts of Dhaka, passing hundreds of rickshaws, fruit markets along the road and the population of the city as they start their day. Read more...

Check back for more updates from the Ten Thousand Villages Learning Tour to Bangladesh and India soon.
NPR's Marketplace Features Fair Trade Chocolate

February 6, 2006 - NPR's Marketplace recently produced a feature story on fair trade cocoa cooperatives in Ivory Coast, West Africa. Chocolate makers are using the success of the fair trade coffee movement to enforce fair trade labor standards in cocoa cooperatives. To learn more about how the fair trade movement is transforming the chocolate industry listen to this story.

Silver Dollar City hosts Ten Thousand Villages
February 1, 2006 - Silver Dollar City, an 1880s theme park located near Branson, Mo., will host Ten Thousand Villages during World-Fest, April 6 through May 7. In addition to the World-Fest's more than 300 scheduled shows, park visitors will discover a collection of Ten Thousand Villages handcrafted home decor and gift items in a limited-time store operated during the festival. For more information about World-Fest, visit bransonsilverdollarcity.com.

News Archives
Visit the news archives for more information about Ten Thousand Villages:

Upcoming Fair Trade Events

There are no upcoming events at this time. Check back frequently for new happenings in the fair trade community.

Ten Thousand Villages Press Releases

November 15, 2005
Fairfield Mennonite Church Celebrates 45 Years of International Gift Festivals

November 5, 2005
Ten Thousand Villages Receives the Co-op America People's Choice Award

Contact Juanita Fox, media coordinator, for more information.
Email: juanita.fox@tenthousandvillages.com
(717) 859-8120

Healthy Food Alternatives at AU

A List of alternatives availble On Campus in the Eagles Nest or Restaurants:

1) Oreo’s (H) (S) – Newman O’s
2) Odwalla bars (Coke Co.) – Luna bars
3) Lays potato chips (H) (S)– Kettle chips
4) McDonalds (H) (S) (GMO) - Subway
5) Chik Fil A (S)– Mega Bytes

*H - Hydrogenated
*S - High in Saturated Fats
*GMO - Genetically Modified Products

IN THE NEWS: March 21 2006 - Tom's of Maine was brought out by Colgate-Polmolive

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Cost of your Cosmetic Choices - Urban Decay

URBAN DECAY - The Leading cruelty-free cosmetic company

Breif History
Urban Decay is, and always has been, a cruelty-free company. You’ll notice that every box bears our cruelty-free credo: “We don’t do animal testing. How could anyone?” We insist on producing beautiful, irreverent, high-end cosmetics without conducting animal testing. Some of our animal rights allies provide symbols to companies they trust to make cruelty-free products easy to identify, purchase, and support. You can read about each symbol below, including a new one of our own! Urban Decay now has a “Marley Approved” symbol to identify vegan products on our website!

Key symbols to look for the next time you purchase cosmetics and what they actually mean.

If you see Marley’s purple paw print next to a product, Urban Decay certifies that it is a vegan product, and does not contain any animal-derived ingredients. Although we are a cruelty-free company, and not a vegan company, we love vegans and want to make your shopping experience as pleasurable and informative as possible! Our first step in making UrbanDecay.com vegan-friendly was to identify these products and make it easy to shop. Currently, we are working with our laboratories to find out which of our non-vegan products can be converted. In many situations, there is a plant-derived or synthetic alternative to an animal-derived ingredient. For products where we do not feel our quality will be compromised, and we can deliver the same rich color and texture you desire, we will convert the product to 100% vegan ingredients. Be on the lookout for new additions to our vegan products, and thank you for supporting Urban Decay!

The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) consists of seven national animal protection groups banded together to help make shopping for animal-friendly products easier and more trustworthy. If a customer sees the internationally recognized "leaping bunny" logo on a product or a website, they know that the company has committed to The Corporate Standard of Compassion for Animals, a voluntary pledge that companies make not to test on animals during any stage of product development. The company's ingredient suppliers make the same pledge and the result is a product guaranteed to be 100% free of animal testing. Urban Decay has made this commitment. To find out more about our friends at the CCIC, visit www.leapingbunny.org.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than one million members and supporters, is dedicated to establishing and protecting the rights of all animals. Companies that have joined PETA’s Caring Consumer Project have pledged—in writing—that they and their suppliers do not conduct or commission animal tests on ingredients, formulations, or finished products, and that they will not do so in the future. Urban Decay displays PETA’s cruelty-free bunny logo to assure our customers that we do not use or condone animal tests. We believe that you can have a killer look without killing or harming animals. For more information, please visit www.CaringConsumer.com.

Other Alternatives Include:

What/Why Organic

The materials below were developed by the USDA National Organic Program in 1994 and serve as a general outline of the definition of Organic as it will be used in the United States.

Organic agriculture is a holistic system with the primary goal of optimizing the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals, and people. Management practices are carefully selected with an intent to restore and then maintain ecological harmony on the farm, its surrounding environment and ultimately the whole planetary ecosystem.

The Organic Farm Plan is central to demonstrating progressive improvement of practices and measuring evolution of the management system as a whole towards greater sustainability. In this context, record- keeping is a key management tool for identifying problems and successful adaptations. Management changes should be evaluated in light of the principles described below.

Organic production systems seek to provide food, fiber and herbal products of the highest quality in sufficient quantities.

Click Here to see the full details of these principles.

World wide research pioneered by The Rodale Institute in Kutztown, PA has proven organic and regenerative farming methods feed more with fewer resources, deliver healthier living, reduce greenhouse effects, and restore economic and environmental balance to our planet. If you are ever in PA, visit The Rodale Institute's 333 acre experimental farm, home to one of the world's longest running Farming Systems Trial™ study comparing organic to conventional farming methods. And definitely visit their incredible-new-first-of-its-kind monthly FREE! fun web magazine for children, parents and educators.

the above info was provided by the Newman O's organic pastry company
for more info about the comopany and their products please visit their official website:
Newman O's
This product is available at the Eagles Nest.
Next time instead of buying oreo's try the better choice of Newman O's.