Sweatshop and proud

So, what have I been up to recently, you ask? Oh, all sorts. All sorts of wild inane things. Thanks for asking. One of them being* recent dumbfoundment to discover an actual clothing shop called Sweatshop.

Sweatshop stock Nike and Adidas, companies that have employed factories with sweatshop condtions as recently as 2012. Shome mistake, shorely**? You’d think, Sweatshop would avoid sweatshop suppliers if only because of their namesake? Surely it’s bad PR to name your sweatshop-supplied shop: Sweatshop?

My limited corporate knowledge led me to believe companies did all they could to make their brand look good and make ma-honey. So a name like that is suprising, it puts me off from buying for one.

I expect Sweatshop are so blatant about their namesake because sweatshop supplies are so ubiquitous and normative. It’s the done thing. Many, many, companies employ sweatshop suppliers. Sweatshop just happen to be more honest about it.

Another example of this blatancy is kindly provided by All Saints.

All Saints shop window display with hundreds of sewing machines.

Stacked one on top of t’other, All Saints shop windows feature rows upon rows of model sewing machines. And the lack of space between machine, the airless room and the sheer number, are all eerily reflective of the actual sweatshop factories that the shop probably, likely uses.

It’s great All Saints have taken campaigner’s  demands seriously. A glass display of what actually occurs in their factories isn’t quite what campaigners meant when they called for ‘supplier transparency’.

No, campaigners are actually calling for universities to sign up to the Worker’s Rights Consortium. An organization that monitors sweat shops conditions (like properly and not like pretend tick-box monitoring) and then exposes worker abuses.  The very progressive student social justice group People and Planet are the brains behind this anti-sweat shop campaign. So do get involved in that. Do.

Finally I’ll end this righteous blog post with a simple moral. Which is don’t ever buy stuff. Ever. Or do, but use Ethical Consumer to guide you. Or use charity shops. Or, better, donate all your money. 

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