Millions of mothers, fathers, grandparents, and people who care about young girls are thrilled about GoldieBlox, the maker of toys designed to get girls dreaming of futures as engineers. This company has made a big splash in the toy industry, giving girls options for creative play and learning that extend beyond just pink and frilly.
But while GoldieBlox supports the dreams of young girls, the company might be doing just the opposite for girls in China -- especially those who slave away in toy factories.
After wildly increasing its visibility by running a commercial during the Super Bowl, the toy company is now bracing for a predictable spike in orders. To meet this demand, GoldieBlox’s CEO, Debbie Sterling, has already secured new Chinese suppliers.
By working with Chinese toy factories, GoldieBlox could end up hurting the very people they set out to help -- girls and young women -- because of the notoriously brutal worker exploitation and hazardous conditions that exist in Chinese toy factories.
We want to buy GoldieBlox for the young girls we know and love. We want these girls to dream about being engineers as much as they already dream about being artists, dancers, teachers, and athletes. We also want GoldieBlox to promise that they won't build young girls' dreams by destroying the dreams of other girls half a world away.
GoldieBlox must ensure that their toys are being produced ethically -- or else we simply won't buy them.
As consumers who appreciate their focus on "girl power," we need to hold GoldieBlox to a high standard -- the same standards that inspired our respect in the first place. Frankly, it just wouldn't be right to support a company whose manufacturing practices are completely out of alignment with their marketing values.
In order to retain our customer loyalty, GoldieBlox needs to disclose its Chinese suppliers and prove that the company is committed to the fair treatment of all girls -- whether they play with their toys or make them.