My Moral Conundrum

Anyone who knows me knows that I hate Wal-Mart. Like, absolutely, unequivocally find it repugnant in every way possible. I’ve written about my reasons, here. And if you haven’t seen the documentary, “Wal-Mart: The high cost of low price,” click this link here.

I never shop there personally. I will not give my money or patronage to what I refer to as “The Evil Empire.” However, it is the only store near my work and I find myself there with a co-worker on occasion to get supplies for work. I get a stomach ache every time I go. Just ask my unlucky co-workers.
Wednesday we were there getting supplies for an art project when we walked past their women’s section on clothes. Normally I don’t stop and look, but the skirts and blouses I saw were really cute. Stunningly cute for Wal-Mart. My co-worker told me that Down East Outfitters (which has very, very cute clothing) has a discount brand called Bella Bird at Wal-Mart. You can take a look at how cute their products are here. These clothes are only available at Wal-Mart.
So this is my moral conundrum. I can’t sacrifice my principles on the altar of cute clothing, right? Right?! Even if I did justify it and talk myself into buying the very cute skirt I saw, I know myself, I would feel guilty every time I wore it. I would feel the same upset stomach feeling I get every time I’m forced to walk into The Evil Empire.
I guess I’ll have to keep buying my Down East outfitters clothing on the Clearance rack in the mall. It’s better than sacrificing any money to the Walton family trust fund.

Oh and the whole modesty angle really gets on my nerves, but that’s a different post for a different day. Way to tap into the idiosyncrasies of Utah culture.

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8 thoughts on “My Moral Conundrum

  1. I, also, have moral conundrum regarding WalMart. I do shop there occasionally because it is the only place in my town that sells certain items, like shoes and socks, clothing, small appliances and furnishings. If there is another alternative, like for groceries (Lin's), large furnishings (Stouts), and hardware (Ace), I go there. Those places are all locally owned and operated, and I love supporting them. But for certain items mentioned above, my only alternative would be to A) go to Family Dollar, which I see as being as bad as WalMart (maybe even worse in terms of low quality crap imported from China and low wages), or B) drive a half an hour to St. George (and another half-hour back), filling the atmosphere with my carbon emissions and greenhouse gasses and guzzling fossil fuels. It feels like whatever I choose, I can't win. I did see those clothes at my mom's WalMart when I was up there visiting. Very cute indeed. And produced by a U.S. company, too, which is nice. But sold at WalMart. Yup. It's what we call a dilemma (a choice between two or more BAD alternatives.) Good luck.

  2. I forgot to say, it doesn't bother me at all that a company sells merchandise to a specific market based on local culture. If you're selling in Utah, by all means sell some "modest" clothing. I can't tell you how much it irritates me to go into a store looking for cute summer clothes for the girls and only finding sleeveless tops and shorty shorts. Or to only find bikinis for swim suits. I say PLEASE figure out the type of clothing I want to purchase and market them. Sounds like a win-win scenario to me.

  3. The clothes are probably really low quality, and would fall apart the second time you washed them. Stay strong. Karma will bless you with good deals on the clearance rack if you do. πŸ™‚

  4. My5wmd:It's actually the hyper-focus and fetishization of modesty that bothers me. It would take me a whole 'nother post to explain that annoyance. Of course a store is going to market to the region it is in. When I worked at Payless, they didn't exactly stock the stores in Hawaii with winter boots. And our store didn't sell flip flops all year long. Alice: good point about the cheaply made clothes. But the fact that this is a discount brand of Down East leads me to believe that they might me better made than most Wal-Mart fare.

  5. I also shop around Wal-Mart as much as possible. Their conduct of "pick pocketing" of a disabled Wal-Mart truck driver of a legal settlement was legal, but VERY low.

  6. I deal with this conundrum often since my after school program only allows us to buy our supplies from Walmart. I really hate that place. BUT I'll sacrifice anything for my kids. We can get the most supplies for the money there 😦 And also, they now have Organic Soy Milk, Whole Wheat Organic Pasta, and all Natural Peanut Butter in GreatValue brand for cheap cheap cheap. They are learning quickly to reel in all demographics! Also, in the documentary Food Inc, they explain that Walmart supports the entire Organic food industry just by carrying organic food in their stores. If they were to deny organic farmers distribution it would shut down the entire industry. Scary yet interesting. Conundrum indeed.

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