Dove Apparel – Commercialization / Consumption (Social Aspect)

Blog#5 James Seals. Socially conscious products are goods that help support the improvement of social conditions in developing nations. Fair trade certified products are one popular example of socially conscious certifications consumers will notice when shopping for goods. Items that dedicate a portion of their proceeds to improving social issues will positively affect the lives of people living in developing countries if these additional proceeds are managed and utilized effectively. But unfortunately there are many issues with socially conscious products because many companies use these labels as marketing ploys to attract socially conscious consumers. Dove apparel is the organization used by Point Loma to supply its nursing students with uniforms. At first glance Dove Apparel appears to be a company that concerns themselves with social injustice. They openly advertise that their company has a high intolerance for garment sweat shops and that they foster fair labor practices with their organization. These insure that workers receive fair wages, work regular hours, receive benefits and work in a safe environment. They also promote that their organization is one that is environmental conscious and is certified as a green business by Co-Op America. But upon further review of the company’s website these claims start to lose some of their validity and makes you question whether this company is as socially conscious as they portray. One of the biggest concerns found on their site is claiming all their sewing partners are licensed by the California Department of Labor. According to an article online addressing Dove’s recent acquisitions of a third manufacturing facility, Dove’s production plants are located in both California and Mexico. If it is true that Dove’s operations expand into Mexico, collectively stating that their sewing partners are all licensed by the California Department of Labor is false. The California Department of Labor does not have jurisdiction in Mexico so it is impossible to know if fair labor practices are being used by their partners in Mexico. In addition when they claim that they are an environmentally conscious company and are certified as a green business many would believe that these qualifications would hold the organization to higher environmental standards. When reviewing the short list of operations qualifying Dove Apparel for this certification, some of the meager qualification included, “Keeping the doors open for fresh air unless it’s really hot or cold” or “Using real towels and biodegradable soap in our bathrooms”. These are all great ways for individuals to incorporate sustainable practices into their daily life, but such minimal environmental dedication should not certify this company as a green business. Customized nursing uniforms fall into quite a niche market, local suppliers are most likely scarce and for that reason Dove Apparel may be the most cost effective and ethical choice for now. Next year when Point Loma decides to purchase nursing uniforms other options should be explored. There are most likely other organizations that can provide equivalent service but with stronger social and environmental commitments.

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Dove Apparel – Commercialization / Consumption (Social Aspect)

2 thoughts on “Dove Apparel – Commercialization / Consumption (Social Aspect)

  1. Cameron Heavican says:

    Hey y’all! I’m graduating–woooo!!!!– and heading for nursing school in Nashville. Would I be able to purchase Dove Apparel scrubs even though I’m not affiliated with Point Loma?

  2. Erin Andersen says:

    Hey, Cameron! Unfortunately, you can only purchase through Dove Professional Apparel in bulk. We definitely think this is something Dove or similar ethical companies could improve on. Thanks for your input!

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