Child slavery and chocolate: All too easy to find

The CNN Freedom Project: Ending Modern-Day Slavery

In “Chocolate’s Child Slaves,” CNN’s David McKenzie travels into the heart of the Ivory Coast to investigate children working in the cocoa fields. (More information and air times on CNN International.)

By David McKenzie and Brent Swails, CNN

Daloa, Ivory Coast (CNN) — Chocolate’s billion-dollar industry starts with workers like Abdul. He squats with a gang of a dozen harvesters on an Ivory Coast farm.

Abdul holds the yellow cocoa pod lengthwise and gives it two quick cracks, snapping it open to reveal milky white cocoa beans. He dumps the beans on a growing pile.

Abdul is 10 years old, a three-year veteran of the job.

He has never tasted chocolate.

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Lilly Pulitzer for Target creates mixed emotions

On March 26, 2015 Target released the much-anticipated Lilly for Target look book to their corporate website. Within seconds ladies everywhere formed their final opinions of the dynamic collaboration. On one side of the Lilly printed happiness we have women like myself, they love Lilly Pulitzer but not the full price tag that comes with them. The women who already have the countdown calendars set and a plan of action for that morning to make sure they get what they want before it completely sells out. On the other side we had the women who threw up their hands and said that Lilly was rolling her eyes in her grave at this very moment. Two extreme different opinions, that have since clashed on social media since the original announcement at the beginning of 2015.

For the women who have publicly announced their discontent for their beloved Palm Beach Brand partnering for a Target collaboration I ask the question “Why do you hate it so much?” One doesn’t have to search long for this answer, just look at the countless #LillyforTarget posts on any social media site. What I found astounded me. Why are girls who pride themselves on wearing clothes that are the essence of “classy” suddenly tend to lack what having class actually means? The collaboration means that girls who normally can’t afford the astounding $150 price tag for a dress, can now get a dress that closely resembles it for $38. There will be a substantial difference between the $150 dress and the $38 dress though. The Target collaboration prints look different that normal Lilly prints, any woman who even knows a little about Lilly will be able to distinguish the difference easily. I can assure you the shift material will not be the same, so no they won’t be getting your $150 dress for $38.

So why so much discontent for the brand? I can say from owning some of the more expensive Lilly items myself that I am more than ecstatic for this collaboration. Why? I know my Lilly dresses I have now will retain their value and now I can share my love of Lilly with women who will now be able to find it affordable. I wouldn’t wear my nice Lilly dress to an outdoor picnic where spilling something on it becomes a realistic possibility for those as accident prone as I am. So this is where Lilly for Target makes it all better and completely appealing to me. I can still wear Lilly while I am having fun in the sun without having to worry about ruining something so expensive. It might just be a whole new mindset but I am thinking of it as I will get to have my nice Lilly for work and then my “play Lilly” for fun. Who wouldn’t want something like that?

Thinking of Lilly always brings the quote “It all started with a lemonade stand” back to me. She built her business and she was all about empowering women. She wouldn’t want to see us tearing down other women because they can’t afford a dress that others are fortunate to have. So for those who cannot fathom this idea, you can rest assured that in about a month you won’t have to worry anymore. Lilly for Target will be close to being over, as they announced it is a one-time collaboration for one season only, and you can go back to “shifting into summer” in the “real deal.

Haven’t seen what the buzz is all about yet? Click the link below!