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Achtung, Bono! Activists See Red

Alliance with Gap upsets anti-sweatshop types.

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Bono’s latest world-saving campaign, (Product) RED, in which companies license the red brand and donate some profit from RED-branded products to help fight disease in Africa, is getting some heat for its much-hyped partnership with the Gap. “It’s absurd, weird, really,” says Charles Kernaghan, director of the anti-sweatshop National Labor Committee for Worker and Human Rights. “The thought of using consumer dollars made off the backs of workers held in sweatshops to help fund Bono’s causes is really hypocritical—that’s not the way to go.” The Gap has historically been a target of anti-sweatshop activists; according to the Gap’s own data, in Africa last year, between 25 and 50 percent of the factories the Gap used to make clothes violated local labor laws on working conditions. But a spokesperson for the Gap says that Bono personally inspected the factory where the RED products were being made in Lesotho this year and, she says, it was “sparkling.”

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