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BLAMING FASHION Nearly all of the world’s biggest retailers and manufacturers have been accused of unfair labor practices at some point. In 1998, journalists exposed child labor in a Benetton subcontractor in Turkey. Nike was accused of using child labor in Cambodia, Adidas, of using prison labor in China and sweatshop workers in El Salvador. Students alleged that Kate Spade was using sweatshop unionbusting tactics when they picketed outside her SoHo store in 1999. Liz Claiborne was charged with physical attacks against union members. The NLC claims that workers in the Dominican Republic are paid 3 for every $12 Victoria’s Secret garment they sew. Timberland, a company that frequently boasts of its record of socially responsible business practices, was accused of paying sixteen-year-old girls in China only 22 per hour and making them work up to ninety-eight hours a week. And in 2001, Disney nosed out Wal-Mart in the race for the Sweatshop Retailer of the Year award, cosponsored by the international group Oxfam and the Toronto-based Maquila Solidarity Network. For the most part, sweatshops are not simply the result of greedy factory owners trying to get rich off of slave labor. The nature of fashion itselfthe apparel industry’s drive to sell trends and consumersunquenchable desire to buy themhas helped fuel the sweatshop problem. Consumers are manipulated by the fashion media, advertising, and companies that promote planned obsolescence, says Edna Bonacich, Ph.D., professor of sociology and ethnic studies at the University of California, Riverside, and coauthor of Behind the Label, a recent book about L.A.s sweatshops. The demand for constant change was created by an industry that needs to keep selling goods, even if everyone has enough and more than enough. The Fashion Victim’s penchant for Speed Chic, with its revolving lineup of quickly outmoded trends, has made sweatshops not only widespread but practically necessary. The craziness of constantly changing fashions produces the need for flexibility on the part of garment manufacturers, explains Bonacich. That flexibility manifests itself as a web of small contracting shops around the globe that rely on cheap labor.2015’s most popular fashion trends for women – Beauty Bloggers Ltf

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