Blog #3 Kirstie Hibbard. Dove claims that their uniforms are manufactured in completely sweatshop-free facilities and that their sewing partners are assessed by the California Department of Labor. According to their website, Dove employees are treated fairly, earning decent wages, receive medical insurance, paid vacations, and retirement plans. As for their distribution, trade, and transport, there are three easy steps provided on their website. The first step is simply to sign up and create an account, the second is to select your school program, and third, order the uniform products required by your program. The uniforms are shipped to your school and then distributed to nursing students. Dove really provides not information on how their materials are distributed and traded, and how their products get to consumers.
According to Co-Op America, Dove has been certified as a Green Business, and has been referred by fair trade sites. They assert that they are advocates of the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” campaign, minimizing consumption and carbon footprint. While the direct employees seem to be cared for and the carbon footprint is looked after, there is no explicit explanation of the trade of the product. This leads us to question the actual source of the dove’s raw materials, namely cotton. Not only do we question the source of cotton, but also the mode of transportation for products. If the company is committed to reducing their carbon footprint, what are their exact steps taken to do this?
According to KPBS, the demands for Dove Professional Apparel and similar products have been in increasing demand. New COO of Dove Professional Apparel, Rick Bigelow, says that demand is so high they needed to add a third manufacturing location, in addition to their existing two. Again the manufacturing location is not disclosed, although it can be assumed that the cotton is sourced somewhere both nearby and inexpensive —Mexico being the most likely candidate. So again we are being informed that the products are in high demand, but not sure where they are coming from and how they are getting to where they need to go.
With the information provided on the Dove website and reviews provided by outside sources, we are able to deduce that Dove is headed in the right direction in terms of social responsibility. The fact that they are accredited by the California Department of Labor, and verified as a Green Business gives reason to support Dove, but the company does not seem to be offering complete transparency at this time. If all of their sources and manufacturing plants, trading partners, and modes of transportation were provided publically on their website, it would be easy to say that they are a good company to support.
As far as sources for nursing scrubs go, Point Loma has made a wise choice. In exploring Dove’s competition, other companies seem to be offering little to no information on where their products are sources and produced. Dove can stand to improve their transparency, but is headed in the right direction. Because Point Loma’s nursing department requires bulk amounts of identical uniforms in a variety of sizes, Dove is arguably the best choice for now.