I saw this a while back but didn’t comment on it right away, but a conversation with a friend today got me thinking about the story some more; namely, it seems that Levi’s, of all companies, has jumped on the “OMG ASSAULT WEAPONS” bandwagon. That won’t hurt them as badly as it would have forty years ago, for reasons I’ll go into in a bit. Excerpt:
American clothing company Levi Strauss & Co. announced Tuesday the launch of a new campaign aimed at preventing gun violence.
Company President and CEO Chip Bergh penned an op-ed for Fortune magazine saying business leaders have a responsibility to speak up on issues that threaten the American “fabric.”
“We can’t take on every issue. But as business leaders with power in the public and political arenas, we simply cannot stand by silently when it comes to the issues that threaten the very fabric of the communities where we live and work,” he wrote. “While taking a stand can be unpopular with some, doing nothing is no longer an option. That’s why Levi Strauss & Co. is stepping up our support for gun violence prevention.”
Mr. Bergh said the company is stepping up its gun control activism in three areas: First, by creating the Safer Tomorrow Fund, which will direct more than $1 million in philanthropic grants to boosting gun control groups; Second, by partnering with Everytown for Gun Safety and Michael Bloomberg to form Everytown Business Leaders for Gun Safety; And third, by doubling the company’s usual employee donation match to organizations aligned with the new Safer Tomorrow Fund.
The company will also pay employees for their political activism, for up to five hours a month.
I don’t like the trends of companies overtly virtue-signaling; if you’re in the business of making jeans, then just make jeans, and talk about nothing more than how great your damn jeans are.
And, once again, a would-be gun-grabber trots out the “gun violence” horseshit. Now, to be fair, that term is also used by plenty of people who should know better, but the fact is that there is no such damn thing as gun violence. There is only violence, planned and perpetrated by people, and that’s all. It’s beyond dumbassery to use a term like “gun violence” when nobody, anywhere, ever, refers to “knife violence” or “fist violence” or “hammer violence.” It’s only when firearms are involved do people’s brains fly right out.
Still. One would think that antagonizing gun owners would be an ill-advised move for a company that makes blue jeans, a garment worn by plenty of working folks who like guns. But I doubt this stance, tedious and stupid though it might be, will hurt the Levi’s brand sales much. Why?
Because actual working folks shopping for tough, comfortable, durable working garments haven’t been buying Levi’s for years. Starting about the time I graduated high school, Levi’s became the “style” jeans, mostly worn by townies. The working jeans market these days belongs to Duluth Trading (my favorite brand), Carhartt, and Dickies.
That gives Levi’s some room to engage in dumb virtue-signaling. So, fine, go for it; I don’t think it will change anything all that much.