Fast Fashion and the Ethics of Low Cost Labor

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"I Xfinity Mobile LTE10: 12 AM8 17% [A online . warner . eduFast – Fashion and the Ethics of Low – Cost LaborWho wants to wait six months for runway looks to hit thestores ? In today’s fast- fashion world , six months is an eternity .Nearly extinct is the tradition of three luxurious fashion seasonsper year ( fall , spring , resort ) . Those seasons have been replacedby rock – bottom prices on 30 to 50 trend – driven cycles – per year .Consumers in the United States and Europe have embraced the*entire fast – fashion approach – inexpensive apparel and highturnover of designs . In fact , their shopping behaviors haveallowed companies like HEM and Zara to grow intointernational retailing behemoths .The speed of fast- fashion goes beyond the production cycle .Europe’s fast – fashion chains have grown faster than the retailfashion industry as a whole , partly because the combination oflow cost , fresh designs , and quick turnover is extremely*successful in fueling consumer demand . Fast- fashion companiesalso boast higher margins that those reported by their traditionalcounterparts – an average 16 percent compared to an average of7 percent . Undeniably , the application of planned obsolescence*to fashion has been financially successful .The fast – fashion approach is not without controversy , however ,particularly when it comes to outsourcing production .Companies like Benetton , Walmart , and Disney place hugeorders with off shore vendors who often cannot deliver the entire*order without enlisting the help of additional subcontractors .Unauthorized subcontracting is the end result , and brands don’talways know who is producing their products or where . PhilRobertson , deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asiadivision , affirms this , saying , " I’ve talked to Thai workers whoare three or four levels down from the original orders . If thebrands don’t know , they should know . A lot of them are turning*a blind eye to outsourcing . "One country that has grown from outsourcing in the garmentindustry is Bangladesh . With labor rates averaging $40 permonth , Bangladeshi garment workers are the cheapest around .( Compare that to approximately $120 per month on average forgarment workers in China . ) Those low labor costs have causedexplosive growth in the size and scope of the country’s garmentindustry . In 2005 , the country exported $6 . 9 billion worth ofclothing . By 2011 , that figure had risen to $19.9 billion , making*the Bangladesh the world’s third largest exporter of clothing*behind China and Italy .Makeshift garment factories have popped up all over

 

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