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Just Because it's Designer Doesn't Mean it's Sweatshop-Free

Just Because it's Designer Doesn't Mean it's Sweatshop-Free

"The Italians are funny like that. They want what we have to offer - they are so proud of their luxury handbags, shoes and clothes - but they would prefer that we weren't seen or heard."
- Alessia Hu, one of Italy's many Chinese-born garment workers

December 6, 2007 —

For many, the phrase "made in Italy" is enough to instantly alleviate any concerns that a garment they are purchasing was put together in a sweatshop. After all, Italian made designer clothing has always commanded top dollar, and there's no reason for a company that sells $800 handbags to cheat its workers out of a living wage, is there? If you still operate under this illusion, the UK's Daily Mirror has news for you.

The Mirror's Adam Lee-Potter wrote an article recently detailing the transformation that Italy's textile industry has recently undergone and the flood of cheap Chinese labor that powers it. From Gucci to Dolce & Gabbana, to Prada, Italy's finest fashion houses are subcontracting much of the assembly of their clothing and accessories lines to sweatshops operating out of heavily Chinese areas. Although the minimum wage in Italy is more than $10 an hour, most of these subcontractors leverage Italy's competitive job market and plentiful supply of undocumented workers to pay their employees less than $5 an hour.

 

Comment on this article:

very good

Submitted by Anonymous on May 10, 2009 - 04:12.

very good

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