The Guardian UK has an article today on how British high street clothing chains are using factories abroad that exploit workers and endanger their health:
Two of Britain’s major high street retailers launched inquiries last night into allegations that factory workers who make their clothes in India are being paid as little as 13p per hour for a 48-hour week, wages so low the workers claim they sometimes have to rely on government food parcels.
Among the brands named in this latest scandal are Marks & Spencer, Mothercare, H&M and the Gap. The mostly female workforce of the companies supplying clothing to these brands pay their workers as low asÂ Â£1.13 for a nine-hour day and they are harassed by male supervisors. Working conditions are grim:
Another tailor who makes clothes for H&M, said that when she could not achieve her production targets, the clothes were thrown in her face. She said up to 15 workers a day collapsed and had to be given medical attention. Workers and unions claim the conditions in the factories led to two tragic incidents this year.
One woman committed suicide, another lost her baby. Suddenly, cheap trendy clothes don’t seem so cheap or trendy anymore. Now wonder they have to run massive ad campaigns featuring super models (Kate Moss at Top Shop) and entertainers (Madonna and Kylie Minogue at H&M). They hope the glitter and gloss will distract us from the misery behind it all, not to mention the shoddy quality of the clothes and the gigantic amount of waste that goes along with it: mountains of clothing thrown away each year by women who shop to replace the cheap, ill-fitting, formerly trendy design items they bought the week before.
Read the rest of the article here.