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Hobby Lobby and Craft Store…Politics?

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Hobby Lobby and Craft Store…Politics?

Who knew that buying a spool of ric rac could be a political statement? Just like any other large corporation, though, some large craft store chains wield their money as political speech or use their resources to try to influence policy.

Hobby Lobby recently came under fire for suing for the “right” to deny employee’s coverage for emergency birth control under their health insurance plans. Thanks to some of the recent aspects of Obamacare that have gone into effect, insurance companies are required by law to cover birth control along with other women’s health services like pap smears and mammograms. Hobby Lobby’s owners are saying that covering emergency contraception infringes on their freedoms of speech and religion.

Obamacare’s birth control clause contains an exception for religious organizations – like churches – if birth control conflicts with the organization’s beliefs. They’re also calling the morning after pill an “abortion-causing drug,” which it is not. The morning after pill prevents implantation, just like daily birth control pills do.

Hobby Lobby isn’t the only craft store making large political donations. Do you guys remember BuyBlue.org? Back in 2004, the now-defunct website rated companies based on their political donations on a percentage red or blue scale. A company scoring 100 percent red donated strictly to the Republican party, and one that rated 100 percent blue donated only to Democrats. Buy Blue is no longer around, unfortunately, but I was able to find a commentary on the site that lists some of the 100 percent red and blue companies, including two craft stores:

  • Michael’s got a 100 percent red rating.
  • JoAnn Fabrics got a 100 percent blue rating.

Of course, this information is from two elections ago, so you’d want to take it with a grain of salt, but it illustrates that when you shop at a big corporation, you’re giving up control of your money to that company’s ownership.

So, what’s an ethical crafter to do? The best way to tell these companies that you want their money out of politics is to stop giving them your money. The answer is: shop small. On the next page, check out some resources for small companies where you can feel good about buying your craft supplies!

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by daysofthundr46

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Read more: Conscious Consumer, Crafts & Design, Crafts & Hobbies, Family, News & Issues, Smart Shopping, , , , , , , , , ,

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Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!

74 comments

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8:31AM PDT on Jul 3, 2014

Can you provide the link for the buy blue info you got? All I can find about buy blue is that Joann donated $3000 to democrats (hardly that much) and I can't find anything on Michaels. I'd love a source. Thanks!

9:14AM PDT on Oct 18, 2012

well all we have around is Hobby Lobby (30 minutes away) and Michaels (1 hour away) so tough. I have to have my craft stuff. Unless someone wants to pay for my shipping on online yarn and supplies.

2:24PM PDT on Oct 5, 2012

I'm heart broken that Michael's is a red =( Now where can I go?!

7:26AM PDT on Sep 29, 2012

Honestly, provide the darn coverage. Those who don't believe in birth control won't use it. Those who do, need the coverage. NOt everyone who works at Hobby Lobby (or any other business) shares the same political beliefs as the corporate owners.

4:56PM PDT on Sep 28, 2012

never heard of hobby lobby.

2:06PM PDT on Sep 28, 2012

I love this store!

12:58PM PDT on Sep 28, 2012

It is great to know of more craft supply sources.

I would find it embarassing to have my employer know I had a need for emergency birth control. This is raising some very important privacy issues, as criticism will fall harshly on women at work when employers can access sexual activity information.

7:05AM PDT on Sep 26, 2012

but zygotes are not sentient. it's alive. as far as I know it is as alive as a potato. which is a root.

3:03AM PDT on Sep 26, 2012

Ive been a shopper at hobby lobby every now and then but will endeavor to find an alternative craft supply source after having read this article.

8:16PM PDT on Sep 25, 2012

It never ceases to amaze me that companies and businesses which (I assume) would be loathe to have their employees pregnant or on maternity leave will deny them such coverage.

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