This past week, Cards Against Humanity (CAH) announced that they had paid for all of their Chinese factory workers to have a week's vacation in December. This is pretty remarkable coming from a misanthropic card game where you and your friends compete to create the most effed-up sentences imaginable. This is also the same company that sold people boxes of poop and absolutely nothing for Black Friday. CAH did this by using the funds from one day of their "Eight sensible gifts of Hanukkah" sale to buy out the factory that makes their cards for a week, and sent pictures of vacationing workers and their thank-you notes to customers.
Like many of the physical products we buy, most of these gifts were made in China. This is something a lot of companies don’t like to draw attention to, and as a result Americans often don’t see the labor that goes into the things they buy. But we’ve always viewed the way our stuff is made as a part of who we are.
Our printer in China has grown with us from a small business to a huge operation, and it’s important to us to go above and beyond our obligation to the workers who make our game. While our factory provides excellent wages and working conditions, Chinese working conditions are generally more strict. This year, we used the money from one day of our holiday promotion to give our workers something very uncommon in China: a paid vacation.
The printer didn’t have any formal procedures for paid vacations, so we bought 100% of the factory’s capacity and paid them to produce nothing for a week, giving the people who make Cards Against Humanity an unexpected chance to visit family or do whatever they pleased.
This doesn’t undo the ways that all of us profit from unfair working conditions around the world, but it’s a step in the right direction. Below you’ll find some thank-you notes and vacation photos from that factory staff shared with us.
–Cards Against Humanity
CAH didn't skirt around the issue of their product being made in China, deciding that they'd try to lessen the unfairness rather than ignore it. With their offices based in Chicago, Cards Against Humanity is emblematic both of the new kind of creative companies moving into old industrial buildings and the production jobs moving overseas, so perhaps that's where they got the desire to do something.
The "Eight sensible gifts of Hanukkah" was a sale where customers paid to receive eight mystery gifts in December. Presumably sensible ones. The first three gifts were socks. Very sensible.
On the fourth day, they invested the customer's dollar for the day in Treasury bonds. The fifth day, they donated to Chicago's public radio station WBEZ. This week of vacation was the sixth gift in the series, with the 7th and 8th gifts still to come to customers in the last part of December.
Head to Cards Against Humanity to read more notes and see more employee pictures—especially since CAH says this will be their last ever holiday promotion.