- Sweater (Forever 21) from China
- Coat (Forever 21) from China
- Jeans (LOWRYS FARM *Japanese brand) from China
I found that all of my today’s outfits came from one country, China.
I checked some of my other clothes as well, and all of them are also produced in China. All of those items are from cheap-price store, including Forever 21 and H&M.
My mother used to care about where clothes came from when she purchase her clothes, because she loves the items made in Japan due to the good quality of Japanese products. And if I wear clothes made in China or the other countries, she always complains about it even if I really do not care where they came from.
Because of my mother’s habit, I always have awareness of where goods are being made. Therefore, I could expect the result of this investigation. But, I had also expected those products might come from the other countries in South East Asia, such as Indonesia , because usually cheap clothes are produced in developing countries.
Even though some of those countries in Asia or East-Asia are developed, there are some regions that have not been industrialized yet in the countries. In addition, to keep the lower prices, the fast fashion productions heavily rely on low wage, overseas labors.
Here is the reasons why Forever 21 can produce such cheap products. One of the reasons is related to sweatshop conditions of its factories and unfair practices in its shops in America.
Labors, including immigrants from East Asia and Latin America in the factories and American workers in the stores have complained of their worst work conditions and low wages, because some of those work under the unfair practices, such as unable to take a meal break, changed their time card to reduce hours and unpaid wages or overtime pay.
Due to the unfair labor practices, the retailers of Forever 21 has been sued by the United States Department of Labor for ignoring a subpoena requesting information on how much the company’s suppliers pays the workers who make its clothes.
The United States Department of Labor said “Since 2008, our investigators have identified dozens of manufacturers producing goods for Forever 21 under sweatshop-like conditions.”
Even though Forever 21 is a big worldwide company and now sell an estimated $3 dollar from 500 stores in the world, it does not mean that the garment workers also can gain good payment from the company because their wages are based on how many pieces they cut or sew.
Therefore, their pay can be blow minimum wage unless they work six or seven days in a week without overtime pay.
And there is another fact, even if the factory is in America, most of the labors are immigrants from other countries such as Asia.
While we enjoy a trendy fashion with cheap prices and throw them away when the trend is over, someone in the other country keeps working so hard under harsh condition with little wages to make the new trendy clothes.