Recently, People’s World published a blog post that revealed UNIQLO sweatshop labor practices taking place within sweatshops used by the fast fashion brand. If you haven’t heard of UNIQLO before, they are a Japanese manufacturer and retailer that operates stores across the globe.
They sell mostly basics, which fans rave about being of higher quality compared to other fast fashion retailers. No matter your feelings about the clothing UNIQLO sells, this post is dedicated to how those clothes are made.
In the report written by People’s World, they cited investigations conducted by Hong Kong NGO, Student and Scholars Against Corporate- aka SACOM. Three investigations were held, starting from 2014, at two separate factories.
The investigation, which you can read in full here, revealed some shocking truths about the conditions the workers in the factories faced. Beginning wages were at one third of the average wage within each city. Due to the low wages, the workers had to work overtime in order to survive. Workers reported working 11 hour work days with little days off in between. SACOM released their investigative report in an effort to call on UNIQLO and other retailers to end sweatshop labor.
While many groups may be against sweatshop labor, there are people who are in support of it. Those presenting arguments in support of sweatshops include Nicolas Kristof, who has said that there are actually not enough sweatshops. He says that those who live in countries struck with poverty dream about jobs within sweatshops. However if you look at the fact list compiled by DoSomething.org, they state that sweatshops do not alleviate people of poverty as a majority of their paychecks are spent on food for themselves and their families.
Take a look through the links I’ve provided and make your own judgements. I’m sure it is not your first time hearing about sweatshops, and if it is there is a lot of research and reading out there on the subject matter.
It is up to you to go through it all and decide- are sweatshops beneficial to the countries that they are in or are they simply abusing the people who must work their to survive? What are your thoughts on UNIQLO sweatshop labor?