Did you know that as recently as 1990 half of the clothing made for the U.S. market was made in the U.S.? Now, it’s less that 2%! With so much of North America’s clothing being made overseas to meet demand and lower costs, companies are not adhering to world child labour laws. This brings up the point, if companies aren’t following the rules is it the ethical responsibility to of consumers to shun cheap clothes overseas. It’s a point that John Oliver looked into on his popular Sunday night news program Last Week Tonight.
While you should just watch the above clip to get the full story, essentially Oliver discusses the “pattern of troubling behavior by the fashion industry [as a whole] for the past 20 years.” He goes on to highlight that through our demand and the desire for cheaper prices, companies like the Gap, Walmart and Joe Fresh are outsourcing their production. Although the companies claim they adhere to international child labour law standards its a systematic repeating situation where the aforementioned companies hire high quality production facilities who then sub-contract work to lesser facilities “without the companies knowledge” ( B.S. if you ask us but anyways…) It’s also bull-shit to Mr. Oliver who states that the CEO of these accused companies to little to solve the problem because they claim they didn’t know about the sub-contracting.
“Deniability seems to have beens stitched into the supply chain.”