Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Swoosh This, Phil Knight

Mrs. Weasel recently received the new Nike Women catalog in the mail, and so I decided to write them a letter that's posted below. Inspired by Mrs. Weasel's "Write A Letter For Change Everyday" campaign that she developed to keep our spirits up after the election debacle, I've wholeheartedly embraced the cathartic therapy of tilting at windmills via the US Postal Service. I highly recommend it; its good for your blood pressure. If something or someone in power pisses you off or is deserving of praise, get to it.

Lovely, fun, and you get a selection of squirming or oily replies on cool looking letterhead for your scrap book.

Here's the Nike letter:

To: Nike USA, Inc
Consumer Services
1 Bowerman Drive
Beaverton, OR 97005

November 16, 2004

Hello Swooshies:

Thank you for sending the premiere issue of your Nike Women catalog to our household. After looking through it to check out the gear on offer one question sprang to mind. Why do you not disclose the country of origin or manufacture of any of the clothing and equipment you offer? Like the proto-yuppies we are, we regularly receive (and shop from) catalogs from LL Bean, J Crew, and so on and they all list the country of origin of their apparel.

Before we buy anything from you we would like to be assured that it is produced in “clean clothing” conditions, preferably in the United States. While we are all for spending our money with American companies, we would prefer it if our money benefited beleaguered American manufacturing communities rather than be used to fuel corporate jets or multi-million dollar endorsement deals while overseas workers, out of sight and out of mind, sew our shoes for pennies a day.

We would like to applaud you for your moves towards environmental stewardship in producing the catalog. Selecting a paper grade that is made up of not less than 20% post-consumer waste is a start (although it is a pity that the percentage is so low). Too bad that by its omission from your environmental statement we have to assume that you did not use soy ink. We also could not find where your catalog was printed listed anywhere. Up here in Maine we have several paper mills that specialize in producing high quality, environmentally friendly paper for magazines and catalogs. We hope you used one of our mills rather than ship production overseas; knowing that would make it much easier to spend money with Nike, you see.

We hope to hear from you soon, and with any luck you’ll have the right answers expressed in unequivocal plain English rather than PR speak because to be honest you have some nice stuff on offer. We are sure you understand however that we could not possibly buy it if you were still producing your apparel in what we consider an unethical manner. Until then, we will keep buying American made New Balance and look forward to reading the answers to our questions either way.

Yours Sincerely,
Wisdom Weasel

1 comment:

jamie said...

love it. nicely done.