Title: Fashion Victims | Posted on 2013 06 24 in Blog

Fashion Victims

The ABC Four Corners "Fashion Victims" program this evening has highlighted the horrors of unfair labour conditions in developing countries and the greed that drives companies, and the people that represent them, to take advantage of the poor and the needy and to put price and profit before people.

Years ago, lovers of Nike were horrified to learn of the conditions under which their much loved shoes and sports gear were being made - long hours, cramped conditions, poor pay - slave labour.

That issue was again thrust into the limelight when the Rana plaza clothing factory in Bangladesh collapsed in April this year, killing more than 1,000 workers. When news of the loss of life spread, it sparked investigative journalists to look into the garment industry and find out just what is happening behind those ramshackle doors. What they found was not pretty. 

After the story went to air, I spent some time trawling the official facebook pages of those companies named and shamed in the program - Forever New, Cotton On, Big W, KMart, Target, Benneton, Zara, Mango. I watched the spin doctors go to work and and observed, wryly bemused, at their scrambling for respite from the barrage of criticism filling their pages. It's a timely reminder of the choices we make as consumers and the importance of supporting companies that focus on improving the world - thst includes not taking advantage of the impoverished or causing unnecessary destruction and impact on the natural world.