Profits made from slavery

Apparel workers

Photo Source: AP/Mahesh Kumar A

If you buy clothes from major American apparel companies like H&M, Gap, Zara, and JC Penny’s, then you’ve contributed to exploitation of the workers that make the clothes.  I was shocked to recently learn that most of the world’s clothing is produced in Bangladesh, and other developing countries.  Check out this info-graphic from Department of Commerce:

Apparel-Imports-to-the-United-States-Feb-2014_chartbuilder (1)

It seems pretty obvious that major US multinational corporations outsource clothing production to developing nations  because of the lack of workers rights + protections in those nations. These corporations continually earn more and more profits while the employees that make their products are subjected to conditions nothing short of slavery. Just two short years ago nearly 1,130 workers died at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh producing clothes for brands we all know and own. It is alleged that management locked the doors in order to keep employees from stealing clothing. The locked doors trapped the young workers in the burning building, with no chance of getting out alive. This is just one of the many atrocities that workers in developing countries must endure.

When will corporations value workers that generate their profits? Without the very workers they exploit, they wouldn’t have products to sell. When will these corporations be held accountable for the poor working conditions for their employees? When will America say enough is enough? Cheap clothes or equality? You make the choice.