Saturday, August 13, 2005

Sweatshop Factories

On several occasions, I have tried to stop buying clothes made in sweat shops because of how the workers are treated. But it’s really just impossible given how prevalent the practice has become. Despite understanding that some of the workers, sadly, are choosing between working in horrible conditions versus possibly having no income, it still hurts me to know how little of the price tag actually goes to the factory workers. I have a solution that I think will help all parties: the buyers, the workers and even the corporations. How about charging a little extra per item and give that directly to the workers? Maybe they can even ask for extra donation at the store. I think putting a special label on a pair of shoes that says “$1 from the $90 from these running shoes will go to the worker in Malaysia” will attract buyers. I know a lot of people who feel like I do and would actually do more shopping from a store that does this. I really think this would be a competitive advantage. But maybe people shopping after a long day of work at banana republic would rather not think about the reality of how the clothes are manufactured. But I can sleep better knowing that I was able to significantly help someone half way around the world (see my earlier post about how most of the world’s population earns less than $2/day).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the first reasonable solution I have seen to the problem. Logistically difficult but reasonable! I have always said that people have to be willing to pay for imposing their beliefs and values onto other cultures. Simply not buying clothes made in sweat shops is NOT a solution.

It actually makes things WORSE as manufacturers find loop holes in the system where their facilities comply with the regulations but they off load the work to another entity. The introduction of this new entity (aka middleman) means that the workers actually get less than what they made previously. The big importers are aware of this fact, but let it slide as long as it does not hurt their image.

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, people are too rich or too poor..Is the univers a friendly place?

3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

never ending problem

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it ll come the time when le last become the first..

3:36 PM  

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