Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Your Fancy Sneakers Were Made By Unpaid Hondurans

One of the MANY problems (Nike is learning YET AGAIN) associated with subcontracting out your flexible, just-in-time production to a sweatshop based in a developing country like Honduras is that sometimes (i.e., frequently) the sharks who run these unregulated shops simply shutter them without paying the workers their due wages.

So here's an idea, Nike: JUST PAY THEM.


Rust Belt Threads said...

So I had this giant rant about how much I hate Nike/sweatshops in general, and then my internet quit.

Anyway, when I was in high school I made this anti Nike website (on angelfire of all places) listing all the reasons why people should boycott Nike...needless to say Nike is still in business and I have no idea what happened to that website.

I try to buy sweatshop free clothes when I can, but it can be trying. 98% of my wardrobe is second-hand, so I think to myself "at least I'm trying" (I say this and I'm wearing Converse which is owned by Nike now, ugh).

I would love to hear your thoughts on "fast fashion" and the rise of forever21/and ect who are notorious for using sweatshop labor and ripping of artists/designers. (I could go on and on about how much I loathe f21....and I have so many friends who shop there.* They don't even realize there is bible scripture on the gd bags!)

*I'm not trying to knock people that shop there, (they do have some descent items for cheap) but it would be hypocritical if I didn't state that I shop once in a while at similar stores, too.

(I can never win!)

HUzzah! Vintage said...

oh, Amanda, how I wish we could klastsch about this over coffee IRL!

wasn't it a sad sad day when Nike bought Converse!?! A cheaper textile manufactured by cheaper overseas labor, and yet we somehow began to pay in the neighborhood of $7 more for our trusty Chucks. I actually haven't purchased a pair since the Nike takeover, but only because the ones I bought in 2002--ie, the well-made US version--are still perfectly acceptable. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the other non-vintage pieces of my wardrobe, which were all manufactured in China (even, unnervingly, the one Marc Jacobs frock I own).

I'm a bit less enraged by the fast fashion stores, if only because I find all claims to intellectual property always and already slightly absurd (Madonna, Metallica, I'm lookin at you). If their knockoffs were made by satisfactorily compensated workers in regulated factories, I would be even more willing to forgive their copyright transgressions.

The bible verse surprised me simply because f21 sells so much trampy lolita gear. Perhaps god looks more kindly upon women who read proverb 5:17-23 while tightening the strings on their faux leopard corsets? (I ask because I'll certainly never know.)

Karen/Small Earth Vintage said...

Yup. This all reminds me. I had to buy a new set of sheets lately and rather than hit up Target, I decided to check Etsy thinking hey, perhaps someone out there actually hand-makes sheets! (I'm not sure what I was thinking, whether they wove their own linen or what.) Anyway, I did find a ton of linens--all from the same two obvious resellers. That was fun.

I always thought the f21 bible verse/prostitot-wear was interesting, too.

My personal bete noire is UO/Anthro (a big favorite in blogland!). Partly due to the Santorum money connection. Partly because they started out as a hippie store and it makes me a little crazy to see the markup on vintage "look" t-shirts.

Yay, Amanda for your website and for trying! And yay, Gina--thanks for continuing to make thoughtful posts like this.

HUzzah! Vintage said...

don't they ALWAYS start out as crunchy hippie stores! banana republic, too. guess the counterculture is always a profitable place to start since the barrier to entry is usually so low ;)