Sunday, October 28, 2007

"But look at the detailing!"

CTLiberal at DailyKos diaries more horrific sweatshop abuses perpetrated by contractors for the Gap in Delhi.

For those of us involved in this issue only as consumers, I'd call your attention to the following passage from the Observer article.
"Professor Sheotaj Singh, co-founder of the DSV, or Dayanand Shilpa Vidyalaya, a Delhi-based rehabilitation centre and school for rescued child workers, said he believed that as long as cut-price embroidered goods were sold in stores across Britain, America, continental Europe and elsewhere in the West, there would be a problem with unscrupulous subcontractors using children."
Please think about that (I am). We don't need to wait for the practices of the Gap, or any other company, to be "exposed" by the media. If we find a garment that has elaborate handwork (embroidery, beading, all the details that are in fashion now), and its price does not seem to reflect the labor involved, we have to assume that it wasn't made by someone being paid a fair wage.

Of course, the people who run the Gap aren't stupid either; they're experts who should certainly come to the same realization instead of hiding their heads in the sand. Even if they "didn't know," they knew, and they bear responsibility. But we bear responsibility too, when purchasing, to assess: am I paying a fair price for this item? If I'm not, what are the probable implications?

I'm accustomed to going through that thought process when purchasing food. Now I'll think harder about clothing. Especially the kind with all that ornamentation.

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