Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Big brands' cheap clothes and modern slavery

Trendy clothes are cheaper than ever. That sounds great for the people who buy them, but it's horrible for the people who make them.
Buying cheap clothing is easy these days, especially thanks to fast fashion labels like Joe Fresh, Zara, Forever 21, and GAP brands including Banana Republic and Old Navy, but despite commitments that slavery work conditions would be forbidden for example at contractors in places like Bangladesh, senior executives of big brands only respond with bromides for public relations purposes when there is an embarrassing story in the media.

Last April, John Oliver, the British comic, in a segment on his America show, "Last Week Tonight," examined the labour practices of fashion brands and he highlighted how unethical they really are.

The Huffington Post says that Oliver points out the problem of child labour has been publicized since the '90s, but thanks to clever and frilly ad campaigns and cover-ups, we as consumers, become blinded (and perhaps sometimes ignorant). That is, until we see something like the Rana Plaza factory collapse, which happened in recent years ago, flash all over our screens.

Oliver closes his segment with preparations of dirt-cheap lunches to be delivered to the offices of the bosses of Gap, Walmart, Joe Fresh, H&M and The Children's Place, making the point that the food had been produced by various outfits and like the clothes, the supply chain has been complicated — how could any company be responsible for their contractors' sub-contracting to more shady operators?

How would they like eating dodgy food from unknown providers?