She’s not there to shop. Ivanka’s aesthetic doesn’t exactly jibe with Duluth Pack’s; we can’t picture her camping, nor wearing a purse that retails for less than $100. (On the other hand, Don Jr. might be interested in their “conceal-and-carry” gun bag for use when he plays Army man.)
Ivanka will instead be there to watch Duluth Pack’s owner Tom Sega sign the White House’s “Pledge to America’s Workers,” a workforce training initiative that’s about as meaningful as that title. Companies participating in the program can expect a visit from Ivanka or Vice President Mike Pence… and little else, per Bloomberg:
Much of the training would have been done in the absence of Ivanka Trump’s initiative, some companies say, and the program sets few standards for employers to meet and carries no repercussions if they fall short…
The initiative, which has no federal funding, has also helped Trump make clear that he considers employee training the responsibility of the private sector.
In this case, Ivanka will be accompanied by David Bernhardt, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, an agency that’s spent three-plus years systematically stripping protections for the very same nature Duluth Pack’s gear was designed for use in.
As an economic figure, Ivanka’s credibilty is… shaky at best. Earlier this month she rolled out the administration’s new jobs slogan, “Find Something New,” which quite literally encourages unemployed people to… just… get a new job. It’s the “Just Say No” of economic stimulus.
“As a result of COVID, people need to, unfortunately, in some cases learn a completely new skill,” proclaimed Ivanka, who hasn’t had to learn any.
Her plan to drop in at Duluth Pack hasn’t gone unnoticed, especially on the company’s Facebook page, where negative reviews are piling up… and, apparently, getting deleted almost as quickly.
Many are saying they’ve been Duluth Pack customers in the past, but no more, pointing out the Trump administration is fundamentally anti-environment, and the association is a direct insult.
One review by Harrison Olk reads:
“Ironic how this company that supplies gear for canoe trips into the BWCA would support an administration who is dead set on recklessly mining this same area. I’ve been a supporter of this company for a long time, however, I will no longer support a company that won’t stand up against policies that risk ruining the environment I love.”
Another, from Susan Oswood:
“Why don’t I recommend Duluth Pack? Because in supporting the Trump administration, DP has turned its back on the people and the wild places that made them successful. Maybe they’ll survive the Trump-endorsed destruction of the BWCA by selling cute purses to people who never lifted a paddle. I am sick. Hope this company goes bankrupt.”
And from Alexandra Hiltebrand:
“Growing up in Duluth, I always took pride in a company that (to me) stood as a symbol for one of the last pristine wilderness areas in the United States – the BWCA. For years I have supported, promoted, and cherished Duluth Pack, but was heartbroken to learn that they cozy up to an administration that pushes for destructive mining practices near the Boundary Waters. Clearly, they can talk the talk but they can’t walk the walk. I will no longer be supporting Duluth Pack. How dare they profit off of the Boundary Waters but won’t stand to protect it.”
For the sake of Duluth Pack’s owners, we sure hope they’re getting more out of this than a photo op with a woman whose fancy handbag company outsourced labor to China and Indonesia — and still failed — and whose perpetual, individual jobs program is being the daughter her father would most like to marry.