November 19, 2019

The Rise of Consumer Activism

“In August, it was SoulCycle and Equinox. The month prior, Home Depot. Back in 2017, L.L.Bean. These are only a few of the companies to ignite the collective ire of progressive consumers over corporate ties to Trump. In the case of the boutique fitness studios, it was a Trump fundraiser hosted by their majority stake investor Stephen M. Ross; with the home improvement chain, it was co-founder Bernie Marcus’s promise to donate to Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign; with the duck boot and outdoor apparel brand, it was Bean descendant and board member Linda Lorraine Bean’s $60,000 donation to Trump super PAC Making America Great Again, LLC (itself a violation of the Federal Election Commission’s permitted donor limit of $5,000).

For Americans opposed to Trump’s policies — from the inhumane treatment and targeting of detained migrants, to detrimental inaction on climate change, to refusal to regulate guns in the wake of unprecedented mass shootings — shopping at retailers connected to the celebrity-entrepreneur-turned-sitting-president is tantamount to hypocrisy.

Calls to boycott Trump-tainted brands stretch back to the #GrabYourWallet movement that began in the wake of the 2016 election. Organizers Shannon Coulter and Sue Atencio turned outrage into action with a spreadsheet of companies linked to Trump or the Trump family, both explicitly (Trump owned) and implicitly (Trump funders, Trump brand sellers), detailing why those companies are on the list and what they need to do to get off it. “The goal,” Coulter told the New York Times, “came originally from a place of really wanting to shop the stores we loved again with a clear conscience.””

Read more

JJ Editor's Picks

"The top brass of China’s Communist Party (CCP) – its 370-strong Central Committee – recently emerged from the Fourth Plenum of the 2017 Party Congress. Such meetings, usually one a year, are key forums for policy discussion. At the previous..."

"Mayor Pete is having his moment — for the second time in the campaign. Surging to the head of the pack in a recent Iowa poll, and edging out Vice President Joe Biden in last quarter's money race, Buttigieg is staking his claim to being the..."

"careful reading of Walden; or, Life in the Woods makes it clear that Thoreau never intended his cabin to be a solitary hermitage, although fans and detractors alike often misunderstand this. It was more an author’s workshop than a fortress of..."

"In the fall of 2015, a rash of posters appeared around Copenhagen. One, in pink letters laid over an image of chicken eggs, asked, “Have you counted your eggs today?” A second — a blue-tinted close-up of human sperm — inquired, “Do they swim too..."

"While there’s plenty of disagreement about how the money should be used, almost everyone involved in public-policy debates agrees that it would be good if the federal government could collect more revenue without raising tax rates or reducing..."

"On a brisk November night, a solitary man wandered around the plaza outside the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts on the edge of downtown. He had just flown alone from New York to see his favorite comic, Louis C.K., and he had an extra..."

"Judaism has been described as many things: a culture, a people, a religion, a nationality, and more (including, according to answers given to the 2013 Pew survey of American Jews, a culinary disposition for bagels and smoked salmon or the..."

"US sex education is decades behind other countries. Right now, it isn’t even mandatory in every state. Add to that the awkwardness people feel about sex and bodies in general, top it with the idea of having to have these discussions in public..."