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WOMEN EXPLOITATION/ WOMEN EMPOWERMENT

HOW ARE WOMEN EXPLOITED IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY?

As seen in Remake's film "Made in America"  85% of factories violate labor laws in LA. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that in LA, more than 50,000 mostly immigrant women work in clothing production. And 85% of factories violate labor laws, federal wage, and hour laws. 

“68% of fast fashion brands don’t maintain gender equality at production facilities” (Ethical Fashion Guide, 2019).

The 80 million workers in the fashion supply chain are overwhelmingly women, but the majority of retailers show no little concern with maintaining gender equality in the workplace. Fast fashion is not just a sustainability problem, but a key feminist issue.

Human rights violations that have been hiding under the “Made in Italy” label
  • Between 2013 and 2017, 10 Chinese workers died due to inhumane working schedules and illegal housing conditions. 

  • Many workers live and sleep in the factories, storing their belongings amid rolls of fabric

  • Most workers survive on solely 70 cents, which is the amount they’re given per shirt they make 

  • Seamstresses can earn 90 euro cents a dress — about $1.50—if they work all night in small workshops. A man can earn up to 500 euros a month—$700—if he works all his waking hours.

  • Most work for an average of 14 hours every day. 

  • Chinese workshops often last two years, then closing and reopening under a different name to evade checks by tax authorities. Illegal immigrants that are found by the police are ordered to leave the country within five days, but no one actually monitors this either.

  • On December 1st, 2013, the risks that many of the Chinese and Italians in Prato have taken culminated in a horrible factory fire where 7 Chinese workers died in the flames. The windows of the factory were guarded with metal bars and the doors were locked, so there was no escape. 

  • The first time that Prato decided to open a public investigation on the working conditions in the factories was prompted by the death of a 16 year old. Regulations should not be made only when the government has decided to ignore the problem for so long that it escalated to the malnourishment of a child worker who showed up in an emergency room covered in severe injuries from factory machine malfunctions. There had been so much evidence pointing towards conditions which resemble slavery and sweatshops, that people purposefully ignore

  • Also in 2013, 75 people in France and Spain were arrested due to bringing to Italy Chinese workers that were human-trafficked. 

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