A few weeks ago, I talked how my love of hockey intertwined with my new career in the realm of social compliance. A week after the article was written, the Capitals won their first Stanley Cup Championship in franchise history. During the final series, I did what any sports fan would do: I became a creature of routine bordering on what some may call extreme superstition.
I went to the same venue (Port City Brewing Company based out in Northern Virginia) and every game during the finals, I rotated jerseys, specifically the jerseys I own bearing the name and number of Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin.
(Special Side Note: I did wear the Holtby jersey for one game during the finals…it was the game they lost.)
On June 7, the Capitals won the Stanley Cup and to say I was elated was putting it mildly. A couple of days later, I came upon the jersey I wore for the clinching game of the series.
This jersey was in fact the first Ovechkin jersey I had purchased all the way back in 2007 when I arrived in the Washington DC metropolitanarea.
Like I had done with the Holtby jersey I had purchased weeks earlier, I took a good look at the label.
And then of course, much like before, I began a long consideration about this jersey’s journey from production to my fingertips.
I also reflected on the journey that the whole social compliance realm, to my knowledge, had taken in that 11 year time frame. While not made in Bangladesh, the older Ovechkin jersey had come from the pre-Rana Plaza world.
Ethical sourcing was not quite the priority it was in 2007 as it is in 2018. After considering these facts, it’s safe to say that I am at least uncertain to the exact nature of how that 2007 jersey was sourced. I have much more peace of mind when it comes to the newest addition to my jersey collection.
Also, I went ahead and did what any good fan does. I bought A LOT of championship memorabilia.
When I look at the labels of all the “swag” I bought- many if not all brands here have made the commitment towards ethical sourcing of apparel. I can have at least some level of confidence that the individual (s) that assembled my “swag” are being paid properly, possess safe working conditions and are not being forced work hours that border on the inhumane.
There are still several issues to address. The sports apparel world is a bastion for counterfeit products, which not only do not have the same assurances when it comes to ethical sourcing and production of these items is known to aid organized crime and even terrorism. This might be something to talk about to down the road.
In the meantime, I want to leave everyone with a happier image.
Yes, that is me on the right, touching the Stanley Cup. Wearing another one of the jerseys that brought me a measure of good luck.