October 3, 2011 Comments Off on Tough(?) decisions
After much deliberation, Joseph and I thought we had selected the perfect crib for our nursery. Cribs are outrageously overpriced, and we decided to go with one of the most affordable and coveted baby beds on the market, the Ikea Gulliver. Normally, I don’t try to furnish my home with Ikea supplies. The last time I lived in something like an Ikea showroom, I was right out of college and living in San Francisco, with a transient mentality. But with age, I’ve felt more grounded and stable, and lately, with a growing family, I’ve had little impulse to buy disposable furniture. The exception is the crib, which is not a practical item to keep around a small Brooklyn apartment after a baby becomes old enough for a bed. So we thought we were being frugal and adult-like when we settled for the Ikea crib instead of a fancier (read: pricier) choice. But now we’re in a pickle. Tonight I finished Lauren Collins’ Ikea piece in the latest issue of The New Yorker and if you read all the way until the end, you will discover, as I did, that the founder of Ikea, Ingvar Kamprad was active in the Swedish Nazi movement. His weak apology to his employees, and then his cowardly decision to not take responsibility for his actions– “As I have lain awake at night pondering this dismal affair, I have asked myself: when is an old man forgiven for the sins of his youth? Is it a crime that I was brought up by a German grandmother and a German father?”– aren’t leadership qualities I want to support. To make matters worse, the article concludes with the revelation that Ikea doesn’t filter money to a charitable foundation, as they imply. Their “charity” money goes into a nice fund of twelve billion dollars, “controlled by the Kamprad family”. As I write this, I realize Joe and I are not in a pickle after all. We will spend a little extra and find a different crib. Sure, the politics behind most big corporations are atrocious, but now that I know about Ikea, I’m not going to put my money into Kamprad’s bank account.
Knowledge is such a pain in the tushy.
We chose another affordable option, but from an equally controversial company, Walmart, which somehow seemed less evil than Ikea in the moment. Maybe the difference is that Walmart’s known for to be a horrible company whereas there’s little transparency with Ikea. Plus the Walmart crib is grey and we love grey!