Here is a link to a website sponsored by Tampax and Always about their work with the UN to give pads to girls in Africa, supposedly because these girls miss school each month because they don’t have pads to wear.

Here is a t-shirt you can buy to support the program. It says “Use your period for good”:

The t-shirt costs $21.99. Of this, $1 goes toward the program.

This brings up all kinds of issues–for instance, where does the other $20.99 go? To Tampax and Always? What do these companies stand to gain from this? Positive publicity or lifelong customer loyalty in Africa?

It could also be used as part of a discussion about consumption and activism–the idea we have now that you can just buy something if you want to fix a social problem. If you pick up any fashion magazine, there will be a page or an article in it telling readers they can change the world by buying some product–nevermind that only a tiny part of the purchase price goes to the charity.

For other examples of shopping as activism, look here, here, and here.

This is an interesting example of the way in which powerful media companies control what gets out there. MTV refused to show ads, made by the Media Foundation to promote Buy Nothing Day, on its station. They stated that the ad “goes further than we are willing to accept on our channels.”

The ads are here. Thanks to AdBusters for this tip.

I’ll leave it up to you to decide if “testees” is a pun.

30% of the retail price of these shirts will be donated to “some of the country’s best charities. What better excuse to go shopping?” The retail price is $68. The charities are:

Women in Need
Free Arts NYC
Rape Treatment Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Children’s Hope India
American Refugee Committee’s Darfur Relief Effort

I like these kinds of things because they bring up two issues: Why don’t people just contribute $20 (or, in most cases, something like 10 cents) directly instead of filtering it through a corporation? And should we have to personally get something out of it in order to contribute to worthy causes?

For other examples, look here, here, and here.

I took these pictures of a store front in Orange County. They illustrate the co-optation of our democracy by capitalism and the way in which “freedom” has been reduced to being able to “choose” how to spend your money.

Don’t miss the “Denim Now” button with the peace dove.