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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Bullock

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“The travels of Nike sneakers have been traced back to the abusive sweatshops of Vietnam, Barbie’s little outfits back to the child laborers of Sumatra, Starbucks’ lattes to the sun-scorched coffee fields of Guatemala, and Shell’s oil back to the polluted and impoverished villages of the Niger Delta.”

SUMMARY: The book is a deep dive attempt at ethical awareness of the giant corporations behind big brands. It brings to light moral concerns about the way these brands produce their products and services, and the dangers of this kind of extreme capitalism, and as such it is also a political and social work.


1. Many big brand companies prioritize profit over principle, but they come out on top despite being involved in unethical practises.

2. Marketing teams are creating brands in silos, so they’re often disconnected from the environmental disregard, cheap labor, and retrenchments which are some of the growing concerns creating a movement away from big brands.

3. Big brands have a clear focus on young customers because their identities are still shaping and because peer pressure creates mass brand following.

READ IF: You want to be a more conscious consumer with some knowledge of the big businesses behind brands.


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