Related Case - Liz Claiborne
Liz Claiborne, a New York based designer company, started
a line of clothing called "Crazy Horse" which it
sold through retailer J.C. Penney. Descendants of Crazy Horse
have been lobbying the company to stop using the name on its
clothing line, but their efforts have proven to be fruitless.
The company issued a statement, saying "We have never
used native American imagery or iconography, and we never
will" (Belsie). The company offered to make changes to
the fashion line, but refused to drop the name completely.
It stated, "Lack of response to our good-faith efforts
was highly discouraging" (Belsie). Ironically, Claiborne
had faced similar challenges in the past from Muslims, when
the company released a clothing-line of jeans with Koran scripture
on the back pockets. Yet, in that case, Claiborne agreed to
remove the jeans from stores, and to burn them as demanded
by Muslim leaders.
While Liz Claiborne refused to drop the Crazy Horse label
from its fashion line, Calvert Social Investment Funds took
the matter into its own hands. In October 2002, Calvert Social
Investment Funds eliminated all Liz Claiborne stock from its
portfolios, in response to Claiborne's unwillingness to understand
the importance of the Crazy Horse issue. "With respect
to indigenous people's rights, Calvert's policy is to be concerned
about the security and survival of indigenous peoples around
the world. Companies operating on or directly impacting the
land of indigenous peoples should support appropriate economic
development that respects indigenous territories, cultures,
environment and livelihoods" (http://www.crazyhorsedefense.org/menu6c.html).
Calvert will not invest in companies that have a pattern and
practice of violating the rights of indigenous peoples. Calvert
seeks to invest in companies that:
Respect the land, sovereignty, natural resource rights,
traditional homelands, cultural heritage, ceremonial and
sacred sites of indigenous peoples,
Adopt and implement guidelines that include dealing with
indigenous peoples. These guidelines may encompass, among
others, respecting the human rights and self-determination
of indigenous peoples, and securing prior informed consent
in any transactions including the acquisition and use
of indigenous peoples' property, as well as intellectual
Support the positive portrayals of indigenous peoples,
including American Indians and other indigenous or ethnic
peoples, and their religious and cultural heritage.
Although some companies are beginning to take a socially
responsible role in their business practices, the goal of
business is higher profit margins. It is unclear whether social
responsibility will spread or if Liz Claibourne will drop
the Crazy Horse Name.
Belsie, L. (2002). Corporations lend an ear to Indian issues.
The Christian Science Monitor. Boston: The Christian Science
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