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Tag Discussion (Online discussion)

March 9, 2012

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DISCUSSION ENDS APRIL 6, 2012

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20 Comments
  1. Matthew Zimmer permalink

    Adidas Portland Trail Blazers Sweatshirt — Thailand
    Salty Dog Surf Shop (in Florida) T-Shirt — Haiti
    WSU Alumni Association T-Shirt — India
    Fission Brand Hoodie — China
    Oregon High School State Racquetball Championship T-Shirt — Honduras

    Adidas has been linked to Sweatshops in El Salvador which is not in Thailand… This is worrisome because it shows that the sweatshirt I own may have been made in another sweatshop. The other clothes are not from big name corporations so I couldn’t find anything on them.

    One thing I did notice that was interesting was that most of my Nike clothes have tags that are part of the shirt. Now that isn’t the peculiar part, what is is that the tag has faded and I haven’t worn those shirts that much. This could be conspiracy theory territory, but I feel like Nike knows they are still in the limelight for sweatshops so they didn’t make their tags as ones you could cut out but that you could WASH out. I have no evidence of that being a possibility, but I just thought it was interesting that their tags had been washed away. This is only odd because my other clothes with “sewn-in” tags can still be read, so why can’t I read Nike’s but I can read all my other “sewn-in” tags?

  2. Madison Magliocca permalink

    Miss Me Jeans – Designed in USA, made in China
    American Apparel Jacket – made in USA
    Victoria Secret yoga pants – Sri Lanka
    Women’s North Face Jacket – Vietnam

    When conducting research on the Miss Me Jeans brand I couldn’t find anything that links them to sweat shops. Most people had high rankings of the jeans and stated that because of the quality and pricing of the fabric, it is believed that the jeans are not manufactured in a sweatshop.

    American Apparel made it very clear that they do not use sweatshops and take pride in the fact that they produce their clothing items here in the USA. I would expect nothing less considering it is called American Apparel; yet I find it sad that it is such a rarity for companies to produce their items in their own country.

    Victoria Secret is among 60 other big brand names that are found to be “routinely breaking every rule in the book when it comes to labor rights.” Victoria Secrets factories are mostly based in Sri Lanka. None of the factories pay a living wage to all of their workers, and some are even below the legal minimum wage for that region; forced overtime is also a common practice. Many young women who are working in the factories in Sri Lanka were told that their employers prefer if they did not marry, and some are subject to pregnancy tests as a part of the recruitment process.

    This is extremely upsetting to me. I personally love Victoria secret and their apparel they sell. However, they try to uphold this image of beautiful strong women, yet under their companies influence, women aren’t allowed to be married nor have children. The job offers them no compensation in return such as health benefits or even a wage that would allow them to live a comfortable life.

    Jackets made by North Face in Vietnam don’t seem to be linked to sweatshops. However, if your North Face apparel comes from El Salvador than you can guarantee that it came from a sweatshop. Women in El Salvador “who sew $165 jackets cannot afford milk and other basic necessities for their children as wages fall behind soaring food costs.” What I don’t understand is how these companies can charge so much for their apparel when they don’t even give their workers a high enough wages to live off of.

    So it makes me wonder, how is it possible to know what clothes are safe to buy? Cheap clothing may be cheap because it was made in a sweatshop, yet even big name brands who charge large amounts of money for their clothing are also produced in labor factories.

  3. Megan Grichel permalink

    North Face rain jacket- Vietnam
    WSU (Champion) hoodie- Honduras
    Lulu lemon sweat pants- China
    Ugg boots- China

    First off I find it interesting that Ugg AUSTRALIA brand products are made in China. The brand is said to have been started in the beaches of Australia when surfers wore sheepskin to protect their feet. But now these rather expensive boots are being mass produced in China by a person who works long hours and doesn’t make enough money to live comfortably. On the official Ugg website there is a section describing their craftsmanship. They explain how their products use only the finest materials and have no visible flaws, but it says nothing about how or where they are made. This is alarming to me because the company does not clearly state how the boots are produced. I imagine the method of getting the materials for the shoes is probably not humane either. I feel guilty for buying them and supporting something I didn’t know much about, but at the time I purchased them I was not concerned about how they were produced.
    The lulu lemon tag specifically said that the product was designed in Vancouver, but it was made in China. If the jackets can be designed in Vancouver they should be produced there as well. In China there is only one lulu lemon store, compared to the 30 plus stores in Washington, Oregon, and California alone. All of the clothes I’m wearing were “outsourced” for cheap labor. These countries are producing products that are not even being sold to them and even if they were there would be no way the workers could afford them on the wages they are earning.
    Products are made in other countries because the labor is cheaper, but then why are they still sold at incredibly high prices? There really isn’t a way to justify what these companies are doing because they treat their workers poorly and inflate their prices. I am more aware as a consumer now, but even with the knowledge of how our clothes are being produced, most of the clothes I find in the stores are made in other countries. Finding affordable clothes produced by workers in better conditions is harder than I thought.

  4. Breck Smith permalink

    Patagonia Half Mass Bag- Vietnam
    Hans White Tank- Uzbekistan
    Planet Earth Snowboarding Sweatshirt- China
    Timberland Flannel- Bangladesh
    Nike Shox Shoes- China
    Samsung Intensity II Cell Phone- China
    Levi Jeans- China
    While researching this topic I came across numerous organizations that have made it their mission to bring a stop to sweatshops. I have to ask myself though, is there really anything we can do? The way I look at it the world is victim to consumerism and globalization. No company is going to sacrifice the success of its business just for good grace. Unfortunately, this just doesn’t happen. For instance, lets just say for example the company Nike decided to begin manufacturing all of their products locally in the United States. This would only result in two things; inflated prices and consumers being scared away. Another issue we need to consider is that there are several brands and companies out there producing the same product. So as result, we also have this element of opposing companies competing against each other to offer the cheapest price. Ultimately, I had to be negative but I don’t really ever seeing this vicious cycle isn’t going vanish on its own. This does not mean I condone the use of sweatshops, I just believe this problem is way more complex than people know acknowledge.
    It concerns me greatly that the United States lacks a level of self-effiencey. I think in the past we have outsourced a lot of our products to underdeveloped regions because we knew that the people would be willing to work at lower wages. However this might prove to be an issue in places such as china in the near future. As many of you may already be aware, China has been rapidly transforming economically as a country in recent years. As a whole the nations is becoming progressively stronger as it industrializes and independently makes its own products. We have also seen consumers in China growing a larger demand for many of the products we outsource there. This might prove to be detrimental to us in the future if China ever decides to limit the amount of products they export in order to provide for their own people.

    On a completely different note, from our lectures these last two weeks I wasn’t surprised to discover that the majority of my clothing and products weren’t manufactured in the United States. I think many times we have this false ideology that most of these warehouses are only located in places close to Southeast Asia. However, after spending some time on the computer I discovered that American companies such as Gymboree, Hanes, and L.L. Bean all get the majority of their cotton materials from Uzbekistan, Russia. Its not till these materials are aquired that they are then shipped off to China factories to be made into clothes. I learned that the city of Uzbekistan is the world’s second largest exporter of cotton and its government mandates children as young as seven to work in cotton fields. This gets in the way in many of the children’s educations because the harvest season is primarily in late summer when school normally begins each year. In extreme conditions, some kids are even forced to stay in dormitories in very isolated and remote areas while they harvest cotton. Its important that we acknowledge the complexity and depth of this issue and understand that it effects people in all parts of the world.

  5. Aaron Kring permalink

    Dockers Khaki pants – Cambodia
    American Eagle shorts – Bangladesh
    Ralph Lauren polo – Sri Lanka
    Under Armour Cougar Sweatshirt – Malaysia
    Nike Zip-up Running Jacket – Thailand

    The Dockers Khaki pants were made in Cambodia and that Dockers is a Levi Strauss Company. The Levi Strauss company does outsource labor overseas to numerous factories in third world countries. During the 1990’s Levi Strauss was under siege from the media for the factories having very low wages and terrible working conditions. With these allegations and bad public relations the company has worked to improve the conditions since. However, economically the company still tries to keep costs down and profits high and continue to look for cheap labor. To a certain extent I find what these companies due a little disturbing. However, from a business side I find that outsourcing for companies is important. Not only does it make profits for the US companies but it provides jobs for the outsourced countries. The conditions of these factories however, need to improve. The morals of the companies need to realize that it is not all dollar signs and numbers but their is a person creating the product that they are selling.

  6. Carolina Salazar permalink

    rue21 tank top -India
    Tarea sweat pants -Philippines
    old navy sweater-Cambodia
    arizona sweat pants-Vietnam
    self esteem tank top -China

    I couldn’t find a lot of information for rue21, but they have been linked to sweatshops over in India. Considering the fact that their clothes are extremely cheap, I assume that obviously they paid them close to nothing. Which, of course, worries me that I’m supporting it by buying clothes from them. Same goes with Old Navy. For the other clothes, I couldn’t find information since they are not big companies.

    Obviously, these companies do make their products overseas because their is no minimum wage in other countries, so they decide to pay them almost nothing so that they can get richer. Like others, I really don’t want to support these companies, but everywhere I look, every piece of clothing that I own was made overseas. I still need/want new clothes. So what can one do to avoid supporting these clothing companies? I don’t know about that, but what really needs to change are the conditions in those sweatshops, or at least the wage should be set high enough so that these employees can at least live better and be able to take care of themselves and their families.

  7. Madison McKenzie permalink

    Forever 21 shirt- The Netherlands
    North Face fleece jacket- Vietnam
    Dad’s weekend sweatshirt- China
    Disneyland sweatshirt- Mexico
    7 For All Mankind jeans- USA of imported fabric

    I love to shop at Forever 21 and was interested in looking further into the making of their clothing. After some research I discovered that much of Forever 21’s products are not made in their own factories, but rather subcontracted out. I also discovered that the company has had many lawsuits filed against them regarding overseas sweatshop labor. The reason that nobody hears about these lawsuits is because the company avoids the consequences by laying the blame on the third party contractors and deny any responsibilities related to the labor conditions. After a bit more research I found out that Forever 21 even has a few sweatshops in California in which they hire Mexican immigrant labor. Forever 21 has great prices on cute clothes that I love and I was very surprised upon learning this.

    I was so happy to know that 7 For All Mankind jeans are made in the US. I researched further to make sure it was true and every bit of information I came across lead to the same conclusion, made in the US. These are my favorite jeans and I love that after being a very popular company for about 12 years they still manufacture their products in the states.

    I have honestly never given that much thought as to where my clothes are made. I thought it was interesting to look further into their origin and to know what conditions they were made under. I was hoping that I wouldn’t be faced with the harsh reality and that my clothes wouldn’t have been made in sweatshops or under horrible conditions but I knew it was a high possibility that at least one tag I looked further into would be of that origin. I now find myself always looking at the tags in my clothes to see where they were made.

    • Does “Made in the US” mean made under good conditions? Is it possible that things “Made in the US” aren’t made in the best of circumstances?

  8. Joseph B. Gentzkow permalink

    Levi’s T-Shirt: Mexico

    Addidas T-Shirt: Guatemala

    Seahawks Sweatshirt: India

    North Face Jacket: Maldives

    Reebok T-Shirt: Guyana

    I was unsurprised to see that all of the clothing items that I surveyed were not in the United States. Manufacturers are always going to contract to have their goods produced in the cheapest feasible location, by the cheapest feasible workforce. What that means is the developing world. It is truly a wonderful arrangement, as we in the more developed world are able to purchase goods that are much cheaper than they would be, had they been produced natively; and we are able to provide work to those in the developing world, who would otherwise have no job and no means of sustaining themselves.

    There is a cycle that is clearly evident to me. Several decades ago, some in the West were screaming bloody murder about children producing toys for Americans in Taiwan. Are there any factories that produce toys in Taiwan today? Not really. Taiwan is now one of the world’s most vibrant economies – in line with Japan and Korea – and those jobs have been moved to less developed economies. The key to Taiwan’s success was that Western companies outsourced jobs to their country. In the real world, this is called foreign investment.

    Unfortunately, most of the these outsourced jobs are in countries that are ruled by authoritarian regimes – nations in which true economic prosperity will never be possible until democracy and freedom are achieved. One will note, however, that all of the nations in which the clothing that I highlighted was produced are economically budding democracies.

    The idea that it will be a “Chinese century” is laughable. The PRC is a two-bit dictatorship. The only reason that their economy exists is because Western companies build factories there and then ship the goods back home to be sold. The idea that we are rivals with China is equally idiotic because any economic prosperity experienced by anyone helps everyone. They have a few show cities, but the reality is that most people live in abject poverty. I read a story yesterday that indicated that 30 million Chinese lived in caves.

    I’m amused by the fact that some try to convince others to boycott companies like Nike. They feel that the workers are being mistreated and underpaid… How do they think it will help by refusing to by the products that they are producing? Do they really have so little knowledge of economics and the real world that they don’t see that that will lead to them losing their jobs? Is the allegedly miniscule salary that they earn not better than the alternative of nothing?

    I am deeply troubled by the repeated allegations that the evil factory bosses make their employees work long hours. If the jobs require unskilled and easily replaced workers, as is the mantra, why would they not just have more people work more shifts? What is the sense in having tired employees being underproductive and making mistakes? The answer is that that is a fantasy.

    With regard to the low salaries that workers in the Third World own, surely one realizes that the goods in a market have to be proportional to the salaries earned by most people, right? If everyone in the country earns one cent per day, the market cannot price a loaf of bread at the traditional three dollars, now can they? They would not sell any bread. Regardless of the salaries that people earn, goods and services in other sectors of the market will always be priced in a way so that people can afford them.

  9. Joseph: Good points. Two questions: (1) How have consumers and workers worked together to improve labor conditions. Nike is an example of this; (2) Regarding wages, it seems that you are arguing that the market at the local level determines price, yet many goods — rice as noted yesterday — the price is determined on a global scale. Global trading, economic speculation, global demands, the rules of the IMF/World Bank, all impact pricing. How does that work? And how do we explain the number of people who cannot afford basic necessities — food, water, health care – even as they work 40+, 60+ hours per week

  10. How does history — colonization, war — impact our discussion here? How does things life taxes, economic policy, educational policy help us understand the success of a place like Taiwan or Vietnam? How does this connect to my lecture on economic development and Vietnam? How does say the existence of single payer health care in Taiwan and mandates that the state spend no money (or limited % of GDP) impact a discussion on Sweatshops? How does the global movement of people also impact our conversation? Also, how does the persistence of poverty, sweatshops, slavery, child trafficking within the United States and other Western nations complicate the idea that sweatshops are part of a modernizing economy that leads to the middle-class

  11. Kyla Chappell permalink

    Silver Brand Jeans: Bangladesh

    North Face Jacket: Vietnam

    H&M Tank Top: China

    Forever 21 Leggings: China

    Disneyland Sweatshirt: El Salvador

    While looking for the items I was going to use in my discussion, I noticed a lot of my clothes are made in China; I kept looking to find a variety of places. While China was most common, I eventually found some different places. The item that surprised me the most was the Disneyland sweatshirt made in El Salvador. Although I should have suspected it, since most of the clothing items we buy are made and imported in different countries, for some reason I thought since Disneyland is like an American culture type thing, maybe their clothing would be made here? Sadly, I was wrong. In fact, Disneyland even uses sweatshops in various countries to produce their souvenir clothing many Americans buy. But this was not the company I decided to research. I was more interested in another company where I often buy my clothes.

    The company I decided to research is H&M. I shop here a lot due to the low prices and a lot of simple clothes, which you can buy in various colors, which is my way to shop. I expected to be saddened with the truth of H&M using sweatshops and learning of the conditions in these factories. But this wasn’t what I found at all. H&M is part of the “End Slavery” organization and does not use sweatshops, and in fact donates a good portion of their profits to UNICEF, which works for children’s rights. What I also found was that a comparable store, Forever 21, which I also frequently shop at indeed does use sweatshops, as well as, does not support UNICEF, and is usually more expensive than H&M. I was happy with my research and the information I found.

  12. Megan Grichel permalink

    I don’t think that made in the USA means that it was made under good conditions. But, they were probably better than conditions in China, Vietnam, or Mexico.
    It is frustrating that many of these workers are working 40+ hours a week and cannot afford basic necessities. Kelsey explained over skype that wages do not directly affect the price of the item they are making. So these workers should be paid at least enough to meet their basic needs.

    • Racharlle (Landa) Mendoza permalink

      I agree with you completely, but there are some things to think about! If you read my comment, I focus on the company “7 for all Mankind”. These items are made in the USA, but sometimes receive imported fabrics. Which could possibly mean that some of these items are equivalent to those made in China, Vietnam, or Mexico. So does this really mean that the conditions in the USA were a little bit “better” than other countries?

      As for your opinion on wages, I just simply… agree with you. It honestly makes me sad and frustrated as well to hear that these things are happening; people are making like 14, 28, 55 cents an hour and they work HARD.

  13. Briana Nelson permalink

    American Apparel Hoodie- Made in USA

    Nike Athletic Crew neck- Made in Vietnam

    American Eagle Jeans- Made in China

    Hunter (wellington) Rain boots- Made in ?

    American Apparel is an anti- sweatshop manufacturer, distributor, and retailer based in downtown Los Angeles. All of the facilities such as modeling, knitting, distribution, photography, knitting and dyeing are located in LA. As the biggest garment factories in the US, American Apparel has hundreds of retail stores in 20 countries, one of them being China. At least it’s good to know I’m supporting something made here for once…

    After browsing the Hunter website, I was not able to find a direct answer to where their factories are located. As a company established in Scotland, it has expanded and is now a popular global brand.

  14. Jennifer Shoff permalink

    Nikes Frees- China
    Northface Jacket- Bangladesh
    American Apparel Sweatshirt- Downtown LA
    Forever 21 Dress- Vietnam
    Lush Shirt- USA
    After doing some researsh on The North Face company I found that there have been some reports of sweatships in El Salvador. These reports include accusations of forced overtime, sexual harrasment, and abusive treatment of their workers. The report also states that the factories in Bangladesh violate many work laws. The most disturbing information I found was that factory workers recieve only 94 cents for every jacket they sew, these jackets are sold for $165 dollars in the US. Some of these under paid workers can’t even afford to buy essentials such as milk or bread.
    This information really effects the way I feel about certain companies and makes me want to become more aware of what I’m buying and where it is coming from. I can’t even imagine working in some of these environments in foreign factories. I’m not sure if many people, including me will stop buying clothing from big companies like The North Face, but I do think that there needs to be action taken against corporations that allow working conditions like this.

  15. Racharlle (Landa) Mendoza permalink

    ITEMS:

    1) Forever 21 Jacket – Made in China
    2) Nike Heels – Made in China
    3) Seven Jeans – Made in USA
    4) Jordan 3’s – Made in Indonesia
    5) Towel – Made in Thailand

    When going through my closet for five items, I made sure to search for items that meant something to me beyond just being clothes. Look below for meanings:

    1) Forever 21 is where I get the majority of my clothes from!
    2) I bought my Nike Heels online because they do not sell them in the United States.
    3) I grabbed a pair of one of my designer jeans because I wear them often since they are such good quality.
    4) Jordan’s PERIOD, are popular EVERYWHERE. They come out with different styles and different colors often.
    5) Although a towel is not clothing, it is something we all use everyday… so I thought this would be interesting.

    First and foremost, let me just put it out there that I am not surprised by only having one of my items made in the USA. In addition, i’m not at all surprised that it is this specific item – Seven Jeans. For some reason, I just automatically thought (before looking at the tag) that it would be made in the United States. I don’t exactly know why??? Maybe I have heard that they were made in the USA before – along time ago, or maybe just because designer jeans are really popular in the United States… that I just thought they were made here or Europe.

    Because of this automatic response.. I wanted to make 7 for all mankind the company I did research on.

    The 7 for all mankind items started in LA in 2000. In 2007, they were bought by the apparel conglomerate VF Corp. I found out that this corporation has had to “under fire” several times due to labor violations overseas. This corporation continues to produce the 7 For All Mankind jeans (AKA SEVENS).

    I continued to do research, but failed to discover what is happening today overseas within this corporation. I was also looking closely on their website, and couldn’t really find anything. There was a section for “counterfeiting” but thats about it.

    In my opinion, I feel as if 7 For All Mankind is trying to ignore the discussion on how their items are made. Also, on some of their products the label states “Made in USA of Imported Fabric”. HIGHLIGHTING THE TWO WORDS – IMPORTED FABRICS. This is pretty self explanatory – some of the fabric used is imported from other countries. Which could have poor working conditions.

    I feel like consumers are left in the dark about where and how our clothes, shoes and items are made. But I feel like this is mostly our fault… we don’t put it out there “that we care”, so why should companies care about “putting it out there” as well. This is why you have to DIG UP research on how these items are made!

    Whether or not 7 For All Mankind are one of those companies that have their clothes made in really bad factories or not… it still exists. Even if this one, popular company does not – either way, poor and unfair working conditions exists.

    It truly saddens me that out there in the world such horrible things are happening. To me, it is unreal to even imagine because of where I live and what I do… I don’t see this stuff, I don’t live in it. I honestly don’t even think I could take it if I were to go to another country and check out their factory. But seriously… what can I do? Am I expected to just stop wearing clothes/shoes because what is happening? I am sooooo curious as to.. what WE can do!

  16. Andrea Grade permalink

    Dockers Sweater- made in China
    Hollister pants- made in China
    Roxy boots- made in China
    Asos Jacket- made in China

    I was really quite surprised that everything I was wearing was made in China. Maybe it’s because when I see something other than “Made in China” it strikes me as odd or maybe it is just because I don’t look at my clothing tags that often (unless it’s to see the garment instruction care!). Until this class discussion, I hadn’t considered where the majority of my clothing comes from. On the other hand, my Dockers sweater came from a Goodwill. I wonder if shopping at thift and secondhand clothing stores is any better (morally, environmentally) than shopping at other clothing stores. I think the fact that many of us know so little about where our clothing is coming from it quite interesting. Even if a garment in made in the US, you have to wonder where and under what conditions and what cultural background these workers are.

    As far as delving into the working conditions in China, I noticed that even those journalists who attempted to get past the “smokescreen” of mystery in these factories could not. One journalist noted that “No one is willing to tell you the truth of what they are doing,”. As we’ve learned in the videos watched in class, many workers do not even want to comment on their working conditions in fear of what their supervisors may do. Also in this article titled “‘Sweatshop snoops’ take on China factories”, there is a section that states “On the books, Chinese labor laws are strict. The workweek is 40 hours, after which generous overtime must be paid, ranging from 150 percent to 200 percent of base salary, until a total of 66 hours, the effective legal weekly limit. Workers are entitled to at least one day off a week. No one younger than 16 is allowed to work in a factory.

    “China has very good labor laws, very worker friendly,” said Steve Feniger, a managing director of SSPartners, a trading company, who has spent nearly three decades in China. “The problem is that nobody implements them.””
    If implementation of rules is the problem, it seems like it would be easy to solve them, right? However, 18.6% of China’s exports are clothing & garments. And for trade that is quite a bit!
    Honestly, I feel like there isn’t much we can do for these terrible working conditions. Until someone in a higher power takes the first step to change the ways of these factories, they will stay this way. Likewise, so long as Americans and other larger countries are consuming the way they do and as fast as they do with little to no thought to where their products are coming from, nothing will change. I think this discussion has made me realize that I need to pay more attention to what and “where” I’m wearing.

  17. UGG Boots
    Victoria’s Secret bra
    Forever21 shirt
    True Religion Jeans

    After doing research on the a few items found in my closet, I found that surprisingly, my Ugg AUSTRALIA boots are actually made in China.The brand was started on the beaches of Australia when surfers wore sheepskin to protect their feet, but now their products are massively produced in China and sold at extensively high rates across the world. The employees who produce UGG products work rigorous hours at wages so low that they can hardly support themselves. Consumers would never know this by looking at their website because the website doesn’t talk about how their products are made. I mean why would you want to shine a negative light for the whole world to see on a product you’re trying to sell? Kinda upsetting knowing how much money the CEO’s of these companies must be making off these employees hard work and the money they’re charging me for these comfy pillows on my feet.

    Victoria’s Secret factories are mostly based in Sri Lanka, where many young women work below minimum wage and often forced to work overtime. Their employers prefer the women to not marry and not have kids so that they won’t be distracted by their families and therefore can be more dedicated to their work. I also learned that when women apply to work in these factories, they are often times subject to a pregnancy test as a part of their recruiting process. The way that women are treated in these factories is very hypocritical to the image of the brand that Victoria Secret portrays to the world. All of their models are beautiful young women, who are well dressed and pampered. However, their products are made from women who are mistreated and living in poverty. I’m sure none of the employees making these products own even one pair of panties from Victoria Secret. Definitely makes me feel very guilty for all the Victoria Secret bikini’s I am fortunate to have.

    Many of the tops I own are for Forever 21. I love shopping there because they sell really cute clothing at a high discounted price. Although I feel great when I find these great bargains, it’s very disappointing to me finding out why I’m able to get these great deals. I learned that Forever21 has sweatshops in California where they use Mexican immigrant labor in working conditions to provide cheap disposable clothing. Factory workers are said to work vigorously at $4 per hour 10 hours a day 6 days a week with no running water and no bathroom. What’s alarming is that this is happening within our own country and even if Forever21 is penalized, it probably won’t be nearly accountable for all the $ they’ve made off of illegal immigrants, and probably won’t result in much change.

    True Religion Jeans are said to be American made, free of sweatshop labor. That would explain why they are so dang expensive! Too bad I only own one pair!

    Learning about all these sweatshops makes me feel kinda helpless considering that almost all my favorite places to shop sell products made in sweatshops. I’m sure I’ll continue buying what I want to buy, in hopes that the CEO’s of these companies will start sharing their wealth a little. It’s no wonder we have such a large wealth gap in America!

  18. Payden Bjornesatd permalink

    Nike
    Made anywhere there are sweatshops –
    Nike is probably the most infamous user of sweatshops and was at the forefront of the issue when sweatshops and there inhumane conditions began to surface, AKA when people started to talk about the problem. While researching this for my discussion I found out some information about my shoes. I pretty much only buy Nikes so it wasn’t hard to find a pair and look at the tag. Except, I couldn’t read any of my tags so I had to look online. In doing so, I found out that just about all of Nikes shoes are produced in factories in Indonesia. As I continued to read, I became more and more dissatisfied with Nike and their poor business practices. In all honesty, I was expecting something to be different considering Nike has been at the brunt of all things sweatshops but my findings were quite the opposite. The factories and those who work them in Indonesia are the butt of constant ridicule, long hours, intense conditions and an overwhelming workload. Those employees brave enough to speak out on the terrible conditions are subject to losing their job or worse. Nike owns 11 of these factories in Indonesia, which was enough to churn out 55 million shoes/ year. Of this plethora of Nike shoes being produced, however, only 1 in 50 pairs are ever worn by somebody who lives where they are made!

    Adidas
    Made in Indonesia/ India –
    Adidas is on par with nike when it comes to sweatshops. I mean, Nike is the competition and is an avid user of cheap labor in sweatshops, so in order for them to compete, they too must dive into the nasty world of slave labor. Adidas, while slightly less than Nike, owns sweatshops operating in Indonesia. The conditions and facts are relatively consistent with that of their competition. Adidas also makes sports equipment such as footballs, baseballs, etc. Here is an interesting quote to provide some perspective about the horrendous wages faced by sweatshop workers for Adidas. “A football stitcher in India would have to sew over 12 million balls/year to earn as much as Adidas CEO Herbert Heiner did in 2007 (that’s 100 balls per minute for a 48 hour work week)!!”

    Old Navy
    Made in Honduras –
    “Honduras is the third largest exporter of clothes and textiles to the US market, employing approximately 110,000 workers, 53% of whom are young women from deprived backgrounds with little education.” Honduras is full of industrial areas with low or non-existent taxes, which employ cheap labor forces. These textile plants (sweatshops) are designed to attract foreign investment and are specifically aimed at exploiting young workers. The incentive of multinational corporations to cut production costs and maximize profits combined with the lack of enforcement of any sort of labor laws by the Honduran government have led to the widespread exploitation of workers. These types of factories aren’t exclusive to Honduras and are definitely not exclusive when it comes to the companies who rely upon them: Haynes, Sean John, Old Navy, just to name a few

    L.L. Bean
    Manufacture their textiles and apparel in sweatshops. According to the International Labor Forum, “these companies have failed to respond to fair labor standards or improve the working conditions of their employees.” L.L. Bean and Hanes use forced child labor in their Uzbekistan cotton production plants. This goes to show that sweatshops extend far beyond actual factories and into fields where cotton is being produced… sounds familiar. Employees working for these clothing manufacturers are denied any collective bargaining rights or unionization. I never really thought that sweatshops extended as far as they do, especially in the textile industry. Incredibly low wages mark every aspect of the textile production line, from the production of cotton, manufacturing of fabrics, and sewing/ production of shoes and shirts.

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