Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What We Can Do

The problem of sweatshops and child labour is ignored, and this is not right! Living human begins are forced to work constantly up to 12-14 hours a day and the government is not doing one thing about it. We can change that though. By donating to places like UNICEF help destroy the usage of sweatshops. Another way you can help out is; do not buy so much clothing from major clothing lines such as Abercrombie. The more expensive the clothing is the higher the chance they use sweatshops. So save yourself some money, and at the same time your saving person’s dignity and helping them get closer to freedom.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Children and their Involvement
Children involvement is something companies tend to keep underneath the radar. The children might not be working in the sweatshops but they still are being used. The materials that workers use to make our clothes today are often harvested by children, example: Cotton from Uzbekistan is a major resource. This is just a little bit of information on what child labour is:
In some countries there are laws against child labour. In New Brunswick the labour laws clearly state that if you are under the age of fourteen, you can not be employed in any work area. Between the age of fourteen and sixteen you can not work in a place where it can be hazardous to a person’s health, and you may not work for more then six hours a day, three hours on a school night, 8 hours in a day combining school and work. In other countries although there is no labour laws or the government just doesn’t care enough to do anything about it. In Uzbekistan there are 1.4 million children between the age of five and fourteen who work in the cotton fields. For one kg of cotton a child gets paid 3 cents which gets sold for a $1.15 on the global market. For 10kg they get paid 38 cents. In Uzbekistan schools are even shut down so kids can work in the fields. If these kids do not meet the targets the “masters” have told them too they are punished in various ways and children who try to run face expulsion.

The History of Sweatshops

Sweatshops began in 1830 and were huge for twenty years. Back in the early 1800’s work conditions were not the best anyway, they were cramped and tight but when the usage of sweatshops were beginning to arise, they were put into terrible work areas and forced to work unlike before when it was an option. Their pay began to be called starvation wages. After the 1850’s all the way till the beginning of the 1900’s the usage of sweatshops were growing and especially in rural areas. In 1994 people in the U.S were still finding there were thousands of sweatshops after they had been banned.  Eventually they started using them in third world countries and the owners would trick the workers into it, so they didn’t sign a contract. Therefore they would have to work long hours with little pay, people would even be put in these sweatshops for debt bondage.

How they suck you in !

 This is the type of picture that you see every time you walk into Abercrombie, its a shirtless man, or a women who is reveling her body and even together. When teenagers look at this type of advertisement, what do they think? “Man let’s check this store out!” is exactly what runs through their mind. Why? Well have you ever been to a Abercrombie store were there wasnt cashier's who acted like they were actually the Abercrombie models? Not likely, which makes it seem more realistic that you can be like the models. If people inside are dressed like the ones on the poster and acted like them teens think it's possible to be like them to. This is just plain werid. But anyways, onnce they’re in the store has them hooked. This is because at schools when trends are being set, the store will follow them. Even though they are expensive stores, for some reason teenagers want it more, it’s almost like superiority because it shows they have some kind of money; and money is one of the big definitions of being “cool” or not. It’s like a big line and even though most people don't see it, the store has it all figured it out.

What are we supporting ?

“Oh well this one shirt wont effect anything!” is what you probably say when your at a store like Abercrombie and really what does buying one shirt do? Although if you were to count all the times you have bought a shirt, sweater or jeans then add the number of times your friends have as well, you’ll be surprised. When you buy articles of clothing, especially excessive amounts your supporting the usage of sweatshops. If you chose to disagree just think… If more people were to stop buying from these clothing lines there would be no point in sweatshops since they’re used for profits. If there was not a lot of people buying, the company would be losing money because they would have to try to lower their rates to get people back in the stores.

Why do companies use them ?


The reason for the use of sweatshops is very simple, it’s cheap! Its cheaper labour, cheaper land so its less money to build a factory and the taxes over in third world countries are lower. At the end of the day companies (Abercrombie is a big one) see it as better and higher profits. Although this is not what it truly is; it’s slavery in my opinion. It’s a cycle of exploitation! They are paid wages that keep them from living a normal life and these people can barely support themselves let alone familes.

Where do our clothes come from ?

Does this article of clothing look harmful in anyway to you? Most likely not. Although this sweater has more to it then what meets the naked eye. This Abercrombie sweater has been made by the workers who are in slaved in sweatshops, just like all the other items of clothing we buy from this line. Just in case you don't know what a sweatshop is, it’s a factory where men and women work all day for little to no money just making clothes, etc. The sweatshops are in third world countries like Cambodia, Phillipines, Peru, Scandinavia, Vietnam and other parts of Asia. The labrourer’s work conditions are not the best lets just say; they face threats from management and risk being fired or even beaten. Sadly most places like this are involving child labour as well. These smaller countries are still using cotton sourced from Uzbekistan which is only harvested by children!