Name a country where the labour and environmental laws are much more lax (or non-existant) than in North America ), and probably there are huge global interests, having garments produced for the North American and other markets
We all know that cheap clothing is usually made in sweatshop conditions – and usually by women. And we know – or should know – that women in sweatshops around the world report being locked in and forbidden to use bathrooms for long periods, as well as sexual harassment, violent union-busting, and other forms of coercion.Although Wolf's article is about cheap fashion, the problem is not limited to the inexpensive. Higher end clothing is sometimes made in terrible conditions too. It's actually unusual these days to find any clothing made in Europe or North America.
What can we do?
We first have to care more about other people's lives than we do about a cheap deal; then we can have an effect with how and where we spend our clothing dollars - "our money is the one tool powerful enough to force manufacturers to change their ways." And consumers have had an effect in recent years with college t-shirts, coffee, and produce, as Wolf points out.
To say something was a real steal is often true with clothing and in ways worth thinking about.
I "stole" the title of this post from the International Ladies Garment Workers' Union commercial from 1978 - "Look for the Union Label" - so will end with them and their spokesperson opening the ad with his prophetic remarks.