Apparel Industry: Truths, Myths and Controversies
The world of fashion is chic and glamorous, but like all other industries, there is a darker, unglamorous side. Like most products, the end product that the consumer can touch and see is desirable, but the process in which the product is manufactured does not reflect the end result. It’s because clothing is one of people’s basic necessities, any controversy that is involved with it, impacts and affects us greatly. The controversies surrounding the apparel industry are filled with myths and must be carefully examined to seek the truth, and not base the facts on hearsay.
The apparel industry has a nickname, which is commonly called, “sweatshops”. The controversies surrounding the apparel industry include, child labor, inhumane conditions, employee abuse and politics. The most common and widely known controversy is child labor. Obviously, child labor is frowned upon because society considers it cruel and abusive to children. The thought of an innocent child working long hours instead of going to school or playing with other children would make most people emotional. Most undeveloped third-world countries do not have a decent educational infrastructure. Therefore, if even possible, the children in these countries only attend school for a few years. Then they are expected to earn a living to supplement their parents’ incomes. The disparity between the rich and the poor is extreme, therefore only the rich can afford to send their children to school. According to Mr. Liu, “If these children cannot find work, some become peddlers and others turn to prostitution.” When these children are prohibited from working in legitimate factories, the children have no choice but to turn to any means of income including prostitution. By providing alternative working environments, these children can be safe, work to facilitate the improvement of their families’ overall welfare.
Another misconception of the apparel...