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Fashionably Informed: Exploitation of Labor & Popular Clothing Retailers


Welcome to College Fashion’s biweekly column, Fashionably Informed. As a CF reader, it’s clear that you love fashion. But have you ever wondered about the drama that goes on behind the scenes? To keep you up to speed, this column aims to inform you about important issues and controversies in the fashion industry.

In case you missed them, see past posts on Retouching & Photoshopping, Tanning Promotion in the Media, Hypocrisy in Beauty Marketing, Racism in the Modeling Industry, “White-Washing” & Skin Lightening, Homosexuality in the Fashion Industry, Cultural Appropriation & Stereotyping in Retail Fashion, Underage Models on the Runway and in Editorials, and Culturally and Racially Offensive Halloween Costumes.

Forever 21 Store
Forever 21 Store | Photo Credit

We all love a steal. Nothing feels better than finding that perfect piece of clothing at the perfect, budget-friendly price. But what if that super low price tag was made possible by a worker’s low pay or poor working conditions?

Many of the most popular fast-fashion retailers have been accused of underpaying their workers and violating major labor laws. A few have even been accused of using sweatshops to produce their clothing and accessories. These accusations have led to a number of lawsuits and investigations by the US Department of Labor and other international organizations.

While this controversy is not new, recent incidents have brought greater attention to the topic. Just last week, Forever 21 made headlines when they were accused of violating multiple labor laws. Because of these recent incidents, a couple of readers suggested this topic on a recent Fabulous Find of the Week post. Jenn said in the comments,

Hi, I was wondering how the authors of CF feel about the fact that Forever 21 is once again under investigation for operating sweatshops on American soil.

In response to Jenn, Aish had a similar suggestion:

I understand that CF is not a political site, but it would be a very good idea if you guys could do one of you’re fashionably informed section on sweatshops and the exploitation of labor.

Thank you Jenn and Aish for your suggestions! Your wish is our command.

Forever 21 isn’t the only company that has been accused of violating labor laws. Companies like Gap (who owns Banana Republic and Old Navy), H&M, Walmart, and Target have faced similar allegations.

These accusations have ranged from claims of worker exploitation in overseas factories, to allegations of law breaking in the United States. Some companies have even been accused of hiring suppliers who place workers in poor-working conditions, pay below minimum wage, and/or violate other labor laws.

In response to these accusations, some retailers have launched internal investigations into their own suppliers and labor practices. Others have denied exploiting labor laws and pledged their innocence. Below, we’ll look at examples of these accusations and discuss how they played out.

Sweatshops and Labor Laws

Chinese Factory
Example of factory and working conditions | Photo Credit

Before we discuss specific incidents, let’s examine labor laws and what the government defines as a “sweatshop.” The US Department of Labor (DOL) defines a sweatshop as,

“An employer that violates more than one federal or state labor law governing minimum wage and overtime, child labor, industrial homework, occupational safety and health, workers compensation or industry regulations.”

An employer can violate labor laws in a number of ways. In regards to minimum wage, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires US companies to pay their workers no less than federal minimum wage, or $7.25 an hour. The FLSA also states that if employees work more than 40 hours week, their employer is usually required to grant overtime pay.

Some fashion retailers have been accused of breaking child labor laws. The DOL says the following in regards to child labor in the US,

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets 14 as the minimum age for most non-agricultural work. However, at any age, youth may deliver newspapers; perform in radio, television, movie, or theatrical productions; work in businesses owned by their parents (except in mining, manufacturing or hazardous jobs); and perform babysitting or perform minor chores around a private home. Also, at any age, youth may be employed as homeworkers to gather evergreens and make evergreen wreaths.

Now with some background information, we can discuss the incidents of alleged labor law violations. (Bear in mind, however, that some of these alleged violations involve workplaces located outside of the US, so the laws listed above may or may not be applicable.)


Earlier this month, factories in Cambodia were investigated for possibly violating labor laws. These factories produced clothing for the fast-fashion retailer H&M.

The Cut reported that Swedish TV program Kalla Fakta claimed that H&M was paying their Cambodian workers $61 a month. The Cut contributor, Alex Rees, writes,

And while that’s currently the country’s minimum wage, the figure is said to represent less than 25 percent of a fair living wage.

CocoPerez reported that H&M released the following statement in response to the accusations:

“Our code has the same level of ambition when it comes to the wage issue as other companies’ Codes of Conduct; the legal minimum wage is the basic requirement, and with the ambition that one should be able to live off the salary. It is what you do that makes a difference, and when it comes to these issues we are in forefront. We want a permanent change, negotiated between workers and employers. This should be done by collective agreement that all workers in a country could benefit from.”

Along with releasing this statement, H&M reportedly met with Cambodian officials to discuss their labor laws and minimum wage.

This accusation does not represent the first time H&M has been accused of violating labor laws. This past February, The Guardian reported that nearly 300 workers at a Cambodian factory fainted, allegedly because of working conditions. The accused factory was said to be a direct supplier of H&M.

A H&M spokesperson responded to the controversy, saying:

“Workers should earn a fair wage and we strive for decent supply chain working conditions. To tackle this challenge we last year joined the Fair Wage Network to find out more about how we can contribute to more fair wages.”


Gap Logo

In 2007, a factory in India was raided after an investigation produced photographs and video of children as young as 8 years old working there.

According to The Telegraph, the factory in question was allegedly found to be a supplier for Gap after the video showed Gap’s packaging and labels in the factory.

The Telegraph also reported that during the raid, it was revealed that not only had the factory hired child workers, but many of the children were reportedly not receiving any payment.

ABC World News reported on the raid as well. In regards to the working conditions, they stated,

The reporter, Dan McDougall, said the children were working without pay as virtual slaves in filthy conditions, with a single, backed-up latrine and bowls of rice covered with flies. They slept on the roof, he said.

When news of the invesigation and raid broke, Gap responded immediately. According to multiple news outlets, including CNN, ABC World News, and The Telegraph, Gap was not aware of the exploitation. ABC World News stated,

The multi-billion dollar global fashion company Gap has admitted that it may have unknowingly used child labor in the production of a line of children’s clothing in India.

In a statement, Gap’s spokesperson said,

“We appreciate that the media identified this subcontractor and we acted swiftly in this situation. Under no circumstances is it acceptable for children to produce or work on garments.”

In addition to releasing the statement, Gap launched a full internal investigation.

Forever 21

Last week, the popular retailer Forever 21 was slapped with allegations that they had violated multiple labor laws. The Los Angeles Times reported on the incident, stating,

The Labor Department said an investigation into the Los Angeles retailer uncovered evidence of “significant” violations of federal laws on minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping by vendors supplying the company.

According to The Daily Mail, the company has allegedly been under investigation since 2008.

WWD reported that the DOL demanded information about Forever 21’s contractors and their manufacturers’ hourly wage documentation, worker’s hours, and the retailer’s employment practices. According to Refinery29, the DOL’s administrator, Ruben Rosalez released a statement, saying,

Since 2008, our investigators have identified dozens of manufacturers producing goods for Forever 21 under sweatshoplike conditions. When companies like Forever 21 refuse to comply with subpoenas, they demonstrate a clear disregard for the law, and the Labor Department will use all enforcement tools available to recover workers’ wages and hold employers accountable.

Following the incident, Forever 21 has denied the accusations. According to the LA Times, Forever 21 said it offered to meet with the agency and “promptly responded” to the subpoena with information that resolved the investigation.

The retailer stated,

[We are] surprised and disappointed that the department declined to meet before filing this action but looks forward to working with them to address any issues.

The DOL investigation and controversy is still ongoing.

More Information on Exploitation & Labor Laws

Want to learn about labor laws and instances of alleged worker exploitation? Check out these links:

  • Made in L.A.- This documentary explores that lives of L.A. garment factory workers as they fight against their employer to gain their basic rights as workers.
  • The Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights- This nonprofit organization aims to raise awareness about the exploitation of workers around the world and to defend basic human rights.
  • The International Labor Rights Forum- As an advocacy organization, IRLF is “dedicated to achieving just and humane treatment of workers worldwide.”
  • This quiz gives you an estimate of how much you may unknowingly rely on slave labor… and it will probably shock you. (Thanks to Katy for the link!)

What do you think?

Do accusations of labor exploitation by a retailer affect your shopping habits? What actions do you think need to be taken to improve the working conditions of factories worldwide? What do you think should be done to prevent exploitation of workers? Tell us your thoughts by leaving a comment!

Posted on on November 8, 2012 / Filed Under: Fashion News / Tags: , , , , , , ,

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35 Responses to “Fashionably Informed: Exploitation of Labor & Popular Clothing Retailers”

  1. 1
    November 8th, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    The thing with labor exploitation is that it’s nearly impossible to shop to avoid it. It’s ubiquitous. There’s a website out there where you take a survey and find out how much you rely on slave labor. Turns out no matter what, you do, there’s always a circumstance where you are.

  2. 2
    November 8th, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    So knowing all of this, will CF continue to still suggest these companies’s clothing in their posts?

  3. 3
    November 8th, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Ever since I watched Made in LA, I’ve boycotted (and hated) Forever 21 with a passion. Unlike other brands, Forever 21 really doesn’t have any regard for the laws or their employees, or even try to apologize to the public and the authorities for what they do. Even though I try boycotting brands that depend on slave labor, Katy is right. It’s nearly impossible to buy stuff that was made in humane conditions. I guess the only way we can try to lower the problem is to boycott as many things as we can possibly do, and hopefully companies like Forever will either fix their mistakes or crumble down.
    Down with Forever 21!

  4. 4
    November 8th, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    Great article. I love that you guys are treating this topics on the site.

  5. 5
    November 8th, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    I have been a CF reader for 5 years and I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that you are addressing these pressing social issues. While some comments (particularly on the posts about cultural appropriation) are frustrating and seem to miss the point overall you are doing your readers a great service by shedding light on the positives and negatives of the fashion world. Thank you!

  6. 6
    November 8th, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    With paying overseas workers, corporations really must conform to the practices of those countries. It may seem like unfair wages to westerners, however, FDA has higher standards than most. By implementing our standards in those countries, we are taking workers away from improving their own economy. Other local companies are unable to compete and pay these higher wages and by this causing more harm than good. Having MNCs in these countries can create countless jobs and produce a lot of good for these economies. It is easy to place all the blame on the immoral multinational corporations but we must fully evaluate the situations. I’m in no way arguing that there haven’t been cases within the US and outside of labour laws being violated but it really comes down to whose laws those are.

  7. 7
    November 8th, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Katy – You make a great point – nearly every popular retailer has been accused of these things before, so to boycott them all would be next to impossible. It’s not easy to avoid supporting these practices, as much as we may want to.

    And do you have the link for that survey? I think it’d be a great addition to the post.

    Jessica – To be fair, we are not saying these retailers are all necessarily guilty or should be boycotted – the point of the post is to give an overview of recent events surrounding this issue and bring awareness to it.

    You bring up a good point, though, about fast fashion, and it’s something we struggle with regularly. For example, we get angry comments when we link to a $40 pair of jeans instead of a $10 pair, and people routinely complain that our “Outfits Under $100″ series (where the average item costs $10-$20) is too expensive for them, and we should do “Outfits Under $50″ instead (which would literally limit us to only H&M/Forever21 items). Since we can’t just link to thrift store items, this puts us in a position of having to rely on fast fashion retailers almost exclusively to supply the cheap items readers are demanding, OR alienate/anger readers by linking to items they feel they can’t afford.

    This is a regular dilemma for us, as aside from possible labor exploitation, there are issues of sustainability, environmental concerns, etc. to consider with fast fashion. Ideally, we wouldn’t be promoting the fast fashion culture as much as we are, but our #1 priority is making our readership happy. So if the majority of readers are asking for cheap/fast fashion items, that’s what we’re going to give them (within reason, obviously).

    As you can see, it all feels pretty no-win sometimes. I’d love to arrive at a happy medium, though, so if you have any suggestions for how we could do that, please let me know!

  8. 8
    November 8th, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Hi, thanks so much for doing this article. I’m glad you noticed my previous comment

    I know a lot of people think about boycotts. But boycotts are ineffective unless the workers have a proper Union and go one a collective strike. I am not suggesting that people should boycott goods, because lets face it, we are students who do not get pad much and in some cases exploited in their own work place, plus there’s a huge student debt. But its good to be aware of the issues and understand how important labour unions are and our rights at work.

    Natalie- I have to disagree with what you say about applying the same standards. The products multinational corporations make are made for a global market including their own country and with the huge profits they make its is only fair to pay the employees the proper wage and give better conditions.
    The corporations are not their to create jobs. they know that they can maximize profits if wages are really low. They could be creating more jobs in their own country (Hello, unemployment in the U.S is over 7%). So that is not a valid argument.
    By the way, the Foxconn factory in Taiwan which make all the products for Apple, Dell, Nokia and other electronic good (those companies make huge profits) had a riot. The workers their rioted against long working hours, slave like conditions, intimidation and poor pay. They have had a dozen suicides in the factory and the company actually put a net to stop them from jumping of the roof. They may have jobs but if the company cannot give them a living wage with good conditions and intimidate them, then they should not be ‘gloating’ for being ‘job creators’

    I hope people can understand that Corporations are not PEOPLE! Their goal is to maximize PROFIT.

  9. 9
    November 8th, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Naomi – Glad you like this! This series has definitely been controversial, but comments like yours remind me why we decided to do it in the first place. :)

    Natalie – Excellent point. We touched on it briefly in the post, but it definitely bears repeating – our standards aren’t necessarily applicable to these overseas factories, making these issues all the murkier. You make another great point about how easy it is to vilify corporations who could arguably be taking advantage of legal (though morally questionable) ways to reduce end costs to the consumer while, like you said, allowing local economies to dictate wages. It’s definitely not cut and dry.

    Aish – Thanks again for suggesting this topic! You’re right; the goal of a corporation is to maximize profit for the shareholders, and under that definition, job creation would be more of a bonus than an end goal. However, if this is true, and the end goal is profits, is a corporation wrong for taking advantage of something (presumed to be legal in these countries) that will get them there? If corporations aren’t people, should we expect them to have consciences? I think these practices are deplorable, BTW, but I’m asking because I’m wondering myself…

  10. 10
    November 8th, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Katy–consider second hand? Thrifting is cheaper, it’s an adventure, and the company makes no money off of you when the clothes get their second lease on life. Second-hand is usually my first stop when it comes to adding something to my wardrobe. You can’t always find what you’re looking for, but you often can.

    Nothing’s perfect, obviously. Pretty much anything you buy or use eventually goes back to unfair labor practices, imported oil propping up a foreign dictator, environmental harm, or conflict minerals (IPads anyone?), which is why I get frustrated when people get self-righteously up and arms and draw hard moral lines around certain types of products. But instead of getting discouraged, we can try to do what we can.

    As for the question of corporations, there are a few questions buried in there.

    The first is, is the primary duty of a corporation to profit? Does that duty to its shareholders eclipse all other duties, including the duties of the people within the corporation (or the corporation itself, since corporations count as people now for the purposes of some rights) to not harm their fellow humans? Are human beings who make the decision to harm others within the context of business just cogs in the machine, or do they bear responsibility for the decisions they make? How does any such responsibility weigh against the corporation’s responsibility to its shareholders?

    The second is, if a corporation truly can be only trusted to do what is most profitable, do we as a society have the need or the right to put limits on what a corporation can do in search of profit? Short of use of force on the business’ part, many libertarians would actually say no. Obviously we currently have laws about how companies must address employee hours, pay, and safety, and about how they affect the environment. Many people object to their presence, and many people want more. To what extent can ethical behavior can be compelled from a corporation? Can we compel a corporation more or less with laws than we could compel a person? The same?

    I don’t have any answers either, but it’s interesting to think about.

  11. 11
    November 9th, 2012 at 1:29 am

    Hi Zephyr
    Thanks again for putting up this topic and thanks to Keilla for writing it

    I completely understand you’re question and where you are coming from
    But I have a different perspective. I’m a Socialist (not the fake Euro socialism everyone talks about or China, North Korea etc). I do not think capitalism can work for the majority. It only serves the one percent as the main motive is to make profit which bring out the greed in humans and leads to monopolization.

    But to you’re question, yes corporations are not people and do not have a conscience as they have proven in the past. If fact if you watch the film The corporation, it shows them to have several characteristics which if a human was diagnosed with, they would be labeled a psychopath in medical terms.
    I cannot say corporations are wrong for taking advantage of vulnerable people in poor countries who have no Unions, as their goal is to maximize profit. This is what capitalism is based on that that is why I am anti-capitalist. The system drives them to do this.
    They call themselves job creators but prefer to move their factories to poor countries where workers they are desperate for food and homes. There have been many factories in poor countries were the workers rioted or went on strike but were crushed by their government and police force because corporations were giving donations to their government just like in the U.S.
    If you raise taxes on them, they move elsewhere(sometimes they move anyway). If you lower taxes for them, the common people will have to pay (which they cant afford)
    But if we look back at the Labour movement in various countries all the things we enjoy (and take advantage of) such as the 8 hour a day, penalty rates, overtime, superannuation, paid leave etc were all fought for and won by the union movement. They were never given to the workers. They had to go on strikes and have picket lines. Many were killed so that we would have this.

    Corporations and this system put profits before people and lefts face it, they ruin the environment because renewable energy costs more.
    So this is why i believe we should not side with corporations and give in to their silly augments about ‘job creation’ and ‘helping’ third world countires

  12. 12
    November 9th, 2012 at 1:37 am

  13. 13
    November 9th, 2012 at 9:47 am

    This is an excellent article and I am glad to hear from Zephyr. When I read the post and saw the pic of Forever 21 I wondered what that mean for College Fashion because I see a lot of links to Forever 21. It makes sense though, that college students are looking for inexpensive fashion finds and that is your audience (although I have been out of college for YEARS and I check out your site every day).

    I find it interesting and wonderful to see college students/young writers bringing up these topics and every time I come to I find something new – it is not all fashion, fashion, fashion – there is excellent writing and thought provoking articles.

  14. 14
    November 9th, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Ditto what Naomi said.

    About running a fashion site but also being aware of issues – I know you did a post on sustainable fashion before – maybe an update?

    There’s also that movement on how to get by with smaller closets/minimalist fashion – I would love to see a series of posts with interviews.

    I do think you all are doing a good job on presenting the darker side to fashion, while also keeping your readers in touch with the latest styles. Tough balancing act to be sure.

  15. 15
    November 9th, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Is there a website where I can find a list of socially responsible companies? Is there a certification I should be looking out for. Thanks

  16. 16
    November 9th, 2012 at 11:48 am

    One wonders, and this refers specifically to Forever 21 since the USA and India are member states of the International Labor Organization, why employees are treated in such horrific ways. Seriously, does anyone know if either of these countries have ratified some of the core conventions prohibiting child and forced labor? And if so and they continue support such practices, why has no other member state filed a complaint??

  17. 17
    November 9th, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    This is a great topic to bring up and something that has been on my mind lately.

    I think one of the main problems is that as a consumer I feel very poorly informed about which retailers/corporations are fair to their employees, at home or abroad. I really like how some chocolate brands provide the information that they are ”fair trade” products and I hope in future there will be an increasing number of companies which consumers know that have been fair to their workers and are socially responsible.

    One thing I have been trying to do the past few years is to cut down on the number of clothes I buy and to only buy clothes which will be wardrobe staples for me. I like that this practice allows me to be less wasteful with my purchases and that I can take the money saved to buy fewer items of a higher quality.

    Thanks for this article collegefashion! I’ve enjoyed most of the ”fashionably informed” series and this one was no exception!

  18. 18
    November 9th, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Thank you for this article.

    I used to the live in Honduras, where there are a lot of textile sweatshops. I had friends who worked in sweatshops, and, really, some of the conditions the workers go through is terrible. First of all, just the setting in which they work is inhumane. Honduras is tropical, and the heat and humidity can get really bad; the sweatshops don’t offer A/C. Secondly, you could be fired for not working for free. If you the factory did not meet the quota, the manager will randomly assign a few workers to stay overtime. This, of course, is unpaid. Lastly, women working in a factory lose their reproductive control. In Honduras, if a woman becomes pregnant, there is paid maternity leave (only three countries in the world don’t offer this–US being one of them). To keep from having to pay the maternity leave, women are forced to take birth control.

    While I was in Honduras, one of my friends experienced the health problems due to the contraceptives she was forced to take. It was not uncommon for the contraceptives given to women to be untested. In her case, she did not even know that she was being given birth control. The factory made mandatory for women to take “vitamin injections” to keep them healthy. As a result of using this untested, unsafe contraceptives, my friend and many others were left sterile. In a country where women take pride in having a large family, sterility is shameful.

    Keeping from having to pay maternity leave is just one way corporations try to keep their profit.

    So many people believe that the country in which the factories are held should be enforcing regulations as well as making stricter regulations. While I agree, I think something that people forget is how much political power corporations have , especially in poor countries. In Honduras, corporations come in and build infrastructure that everyone benefits from and that the nation’s government could not pay for. They promise more infrastructure, to build hospitals, and to build cheap housing for their workers. Sometimes they fulfill their promises (like Chiquita Banana did), but it comes at a price; they expect that laws will not require them to pay high taxes, that they will not have to improve their working conditions, and that they will keep their cheap labor. If not, they leave, and the citizens not only lose jobs, but the government is left with no way to continue building.

    I believe that the only way to stop the exploitation of labor is for an international standard of regulations to be set, a bare minimum what must be offered and what cannot be done. Otherwise, the corporations will just move to a different location.

  19. 19
    November 9th, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Great article! This was very informative, considered I want to be a fashion designer and work in retail when I own my own boutique. It’s really horrible for people to work under such conditions. Shouldn’t our goal be to strive for excellence through hard work…and not through cheating, scandals, and laziness?
    I consider it extremely wrong to pay someone very low (or not even pay them at all!) for doing the dirty work you don’t want to do! I mean, these people work so hard, and yet we treat them like dirt? It’s just inhumane!
    You should as watch “Real Women Have Curves.” It’s a movie featuring America Fererra, and it talks briefly about sweatshops and harsh conditions. But again, thanks for posting this!

  20. 20
    November 9th, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    I would be lying if I said I never shopped there but I am over Forever 21, their poor quality clothes and their questionable business practices. I buy most of my clothes at thrift stores these days and feel much better about it-the money goes to good causes and I don’t have to directly support companies that use sweatshops. Plus it is easier on my wallet and the environment.

  21. 21
    November 9th, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Thanks for this article! The problem with the one, as opposed to racism in modeling, appropriative fashions, offensive costumes, size discrimination, etc. is that honestly, it’s so hard to find a solution to it. For most of those others, awareness, laws, and pressure on companies will encourage the companies to change or individuals to examine their own actions. This, and similar issues, is a more difficult task. If you find one company that doesn’t offend one belief, it offends another (regardless of the alleged lack of sweatshop labor, I won’t shop at American Apparel, for example). The few clothing companies that I can think of that aren’t actively marginalizing someone in the production or promotion of their clothes are prohibitively expensive, and many of them are doing something else abhorrent (ex; the underage models). But how do we stop them? Make a law, and they move to a different country or slide under the radar. Raise awareness, but people can’t really be passionate about everything all of the time, and honestly, people will pick the issue closest to their own hearts. Boycotting clothing can only go so far, and thrift shopping and making your own clothes aren’t reasonable options for everyone. I guess the best way for now is for media outlets to get louder about it. It won’t reach everyone immediately, but I think slowly, things will start to change if people are simply less complacent.

  22. 22
    November 10th, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Don’t forget, Tommy Hilfiger and Victoria Secret too.

  23. 23
    November 10th, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Maybe a good article about how to get great finds at a thrift store? I think you are doing a great job with your links. Good quality clothing usually comes with a price. I am like other readers in that I can’t afford most of it! But at least I know what to look for when I’m out if I happen to see a sale or a steal at a used clothing store.

  24. 24
    November 15th, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    I love how this website is not shallow, that you bring up important subjects. Recently I was informed about Forever 21 and I was going to let it go, after all that’s how the world works. But I decided to read more about it, and I knew if looked over here I would find something interesting about it. It was a great article! I think it’s good to be aware of these conditions, even though it would be difficult to find something to buy that was made “honestly”. It’s just an economic subject that can go on forever. It’s so hard to put your ideas in place after reading this, to know what to do so you won’t harm yourself (economically, fashionably) and won’t harm third parts.

    Thanks for the article, it was great.

  25. 25
    December 13th, 2012 at 10:16 am

    I would not buy anything with a label on it. It’s not worth its price. It far better to use that money in an ethically and morally responsible manner. Fashion cannot buy success. Fashion cannot make a better person. Intelligence makes the man or the woman, not clothes, not shoes. Exploited workers need to receive decent wages to educate their children, to have decent housing and healthcare. That’s in a nutshell, is call compassion, loving and caring for others less fortunate.

  26. 26
    May 24th, 2013 at 6:37 am

    Who is directly responsible for the exploitation? The company execs? The buyers? And what happens if these big companies decide not to use these suppliers? Will the workers be worse off than they would be being exploted by companies? I’m completely against the exploitation but I just wanted to know the repercussions of stopping this trade and if there’s any way out. This also applies to the manufacturing of couterfeits.

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