November 17, 2009

Corporate Social Responsibility and $1 Adidas training shoes

This is a very welcoming news:

Adidas, the German sports giant, is to make €1 trainers for millions of people around the world who cannot afford to buy shoes, with pilot production to begin next year in Bangladesh.

This is rather at a conceptual state still as the final price will be slightly higher than this. But the important thing is that the shoes will be sold on a non-profit basis by Adidas. other sports companies accused of exploitation in the developing world, Adidas is keen to improve its image and reputation for corporate social responsibility.

The original idea came from Dr. Muhammad Yunus, Bangladesh's Nobel prize winner and an Adidas spokesman said "It is correct that Adidas Group in conjunction with Muhammad Yunus aims to put such shoes on the market."

According to the report Dr. Muhammad Yunus convinced Adidas that Bangladesh needed "social businesses" which would create jobs in the country.

Now, this may be groundbreaking step in the fight against poverty. One of the noticeable differences between the developed nation and the developing nations is the wider gap of rich and poor. From looking at the people in the streets of Berlin, Milan or New York you will rarely make out who is earning minimum salary or who is from higher middle class. Because there is a wider choice of apparel and footwear according to the power of wallet and all are in a standard quality. But if you look at the streets of Dhaka, Delhi or Lahore, you can easily make out who are poor from their clothes. There are cheaper versions of apparel and footwear for them but neither they are manufactured by brands nor do they keep up a standard quality.

The Tata Nano in India revolutionized in saying that car is not a luxury item and even lower-income groups can afford them. So why not lower-income groups should be allowed to afford more items from renowned brands in reasonable qualities? If you want to eradicate poverty then you need to bridge the gap between rich and poor.


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