After months of trying to get some answers out of the folks at Edun
about their Code of Conduct, conditions at the factories from which
they source and their position on workers' right to organize, we had
somewhat of a breakthrough today. Check out the e-mail communication
below with Bridget Russo, the US press contact for Edun (the document
referred to is the vague FAQ page on Edun's website):
"1) In which countries and where exactly are your factories located?
All the document says is "North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, South
America and India."
Tunisia, Lesotho, Madagascar, Peru, India.
2) There is no mention of a Code of Conduct in the attached document.
Does that mean that Edun has no Code of Conduct for its suppliers?
Yes we do have a code of contact with all of our factories. And we are monitored by a third party organization.
3) There is also no mention of any kind of independent investigations
of factories to ensure that workers rights and environmental issues are
protected. Does this mean that there is no verification process?
We do. They are called Verite.
4) Are workers at your factories unionized?
I believe unions are more of an American structure. I am not sure off
hand how that relates to factories in other countries. Our head of
production is out so if you can wait until tomorrow I can get back to
you with a firmer answer to your question or perhaps check with Verite (www.verite.org)."
Unions don't relate to factories in the developing world? Perhaps Bono
would like to explain that to the countless workers we partner with
throughout Africa, and the rest of the world, who face harsh repression
for their attempts to unionize.
**College students: You might want to beware of Edun's attempts to "roll out" on your campus until you get some more answers about their factories.
Ali Hewson and Bono hold a child during their visit to a clinic in Lesotho (Reuters).
Later Bono was quoted as saying, “I’ve come to a place where I realize that there is something obnoxious
about a spoiled rotten rock star in a photograph with a vulnerable
child taken by a dreadful disease. But that’s who I am and that’s who