NOW OPEN. The MSE Forum's energy-themed Ask An Expert event is open for questions. Visit the dedicated board to ask MSE Gary & MSE Andrew about gas & electricity

MoneySaving Poll: Would you buy clothes you knew were made using child labour?

Poll started 2 October 2015

Would you buy clothes you knew were made using child labour?

There are often questions about the use of child labour to make cheap clothes. If proved, would this affect the way you balance your pocket versus the way goods are manufactured? We last asked this in 2013 and are fascinated to see if views have changed since then.

If it was CONFIRMED a (hypothetical) fashion store sold cheap, child-sweatshop-made clothes, which of these statements would be CLOSEST to your attitude?


Did you vote? Are you surprised at the results so far? Have your say below. To see the results from last time, click here.

If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply. If you aren’t sure how it all works, read our New to Forum? Intro Guide.

Thanks! :)


[threadbanner]box[/threadbanner]

Follow MSE on other Social Media:
MSE Facebook, MSE Twitter, MSE Deals Facebook, MSE Deals Twitter, Forum Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest
Join the MSE Forum
Get the Free MoneySavingExpert Money Tips E-mail
Report inappropriate posts: click the report button
Flag a news story: [email protected]t.com

Replies

  • psdiepsdie Forumite
    126 Posts
    Good to see thoughtful comments on FB instead of knee jerk. Just because something is wrong by our current social standards doesn't automatically make it wrong everywhere, including in cultures at different stages in their industrial development, and with different prospects and survival needs for its citizens.

    If you were a family living 100 years ago in the UK, damn right your kids would be working to help support the rest. Just because our standard of living has improved to the point where this is no longer necessary (with arguable pros and cons!) doesn't mean we should spit on cultures further behind.

    Emotion loaded terms like "child labour" could mean anything, including 17 year olds (remembering we bizarrely class late teens as children) working safe part time jobs - or could mean 8 year olds in horrific conditions; more detail is needed.
  • psdie wrote: »
    Good to see thoughtful comments on FB instead of knee jerk. Just because something is wrong by our current social standards doesn't automatically make it wrong everywhere, including in cultures at different stages in their industrial development, and with different prospects and survival needs for its citizens.

    If you were a family living 100 years ago in the UK, damn right your kids would be working to help support the rest. Just because our standard of living has improved to the point where this is no longer necessary (with arguable pros and cons!) doesn't mean we should spit on cultures further behind.

    Emotion loaded terms like "child labour" could mean anything, including 17 year olds (remembering we bizarrely class late teens as children) working safe part time jobs - or could mean 8 year olds in horrific conditions; more detail is needed.



    The word "sweatshop" isn't a positive one in my mind so I assumed this poll was referring to something like your 2nd scenario.


    At the moment, with my budget, I don't have a choice but to buy the cheapest clothes but the more income I have, the more selective I'd be with regards to the manufacturing process.


    I'd partially agree that children (as in under 18's working) isn't necessarily a ghastly suggestion but whether they're 16 or 56, I'd like the people making my clothes to work in healthy conditions and earn the living wage for their country.


    I do think we can have an effect on these countries' development by being selective about who we buy from. Buying from the irresponsible manufacturers just because they're cheap just encourages that bad practice. If we only buy from the more ethical manufacturers (where possible), it will encourage the businesses in that country to shape up.
  • PasturesNewPasturesNew Forumite
    70.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    I think what you do with those cheap clothes plays a part in it.

    If I'm on the dole and have £5/week left over after bills/food and I get a job interview, would I splash out £10 on a cheap jacket made by a 9 year old, perchance to get a job? Hell, yeah.

    On the other hand, it'd be immoral to buy seven £3 T shirts to take on a foreign holiday and toss in the bin each day as they were bought just to wear on the beach over a swimsuit and as I couldn't be bothered to do any washing while on a jolly holiday.
  • psdiepsdie Forumite
    126 Posts
    The word "sweatshop" isn't a positive one in my mind so I assumed this poll was referring to something like your 2nd scenario.

    Poll question is inconsistent IMO - headline and link on FB just say "child labour", which isn't necessarily a problem (think a paper round) - but then the intro paragraph then drops the word "sweatshop" in, which obviously more negative.
    I'd like the people making my clothes to work in healthy conditions and earn the living wage for their country.

    A large percentage of the UK population don't make the Living Wage for our country either, not even after the new misleadingly named minimum wage for over 21s, and certainly not under 21s inc teenagers. Why then would we expect other countries to meet this standard?
  • rinabeanrinabean Forumite
    359 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    dastep wrote: »
    We have people right here in the UK being abused and used as slave labour in the sex trade, as personal slaves, and in sub-wage conditions because they are illegal aliens.

    We need to clean up our own house first before we demand that another country straighten theirs.

    It is our house if it's being run with our money to our orders isn't it? The problem is what people in this country are doing. People in other countries using child labour in their own countries is still wrong but I agree that that's not our problem. That's not the issue at hand though. The poll is talking about our own involvement
  • I believe whether we like it or not, our decisions directly affect conditions of employment for others. It doesn't matter which country that is in. I accept that financially some people don't have a choice. But the reason this treatment continues is because those who do have a choice will think with their wallet rather than their conscience. I'm afraid that is unlikely to change. It's very easy not to think about it whilst you swank around posh shops. Also, as the poll suggests, it is close to impossible for consumers to know whether their goods are produced ethically. Many people ( wrongly) believe only cheap stuff is made using sweatshop practices. Unfortunately you can pay huge amount for items made in the same conditions. Until there is enforced transparency consumers are not able to make informed decisions, whether they consider these practices acceptable or not.

    Bexster :)
  • We don't take into account that in many countries where there is child labour, there are not well functioning welfare states. If children do not work in these countries, the families would likely be unable to feed/cloth the children, or educate them etc.

    In the UK we used to have child labour not that long ago and families needed everything they could earn to get by. So if you refused to buy products of child labour without also promoting the introduction of an adequate welfare state, you are consigning those children to even deeper poverty.
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Homes, hornets & high heels

This week's MSE Forum highlights

MSE Forum

Kids eat for 'free' or £1 this summer

Little ones can enjoy hot meals for less

MSE Deals