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    • Lucifa42
    • By Lucifa42 30th Jul 12, 12:08 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 39 Thanks
    • #2
    • 30th Jul 12, 12:08 PM
    • #2
    • 30th Jul 12, 12:08 PM
    I'd never shop there again 30 votes (48 %)
    These people appear to be confused by the question, it's "what would you actually do?" not "what do you feel is the morally correct answer?"
    • brizesaver
    • By brizesaver 30th Jul 12, 12:11 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    • #3
    • 30th Jul 12, 12:11 PM
    • #3
    • 30th Jul 12, 12:11 PM
    We cannot judge other cultures. Who knows, it may be a family's only source of income...would you deprive them of it ?
  • MarkXA
    • #4
    • 30th Jul 12, 12:39 PM
    • #4
    • 30th Jul 12, 12:39 PM
    What people say and do are two entirely different things.

    Currently in the poll 40% of people claim they'd never shop there again, and 30% say they'd look for alternatives. But the recent kick-up about the conditions in Foxconn factories hasn't had any effect at all on the sales figures of iPhones etc, never mind a 70% drop, and there's no reason to feel that clothing would be any different.

    If 70% of people really did stop buying things that are suspiciously cheap then it would almost certainly make the world a fairer place, but it's just not going to happen in practice, and the manufacturers and retailers know it.
  • bassu
    • #5
    • 30th Jul 12, 12:53 PM
    It may be a families only source of income
    • #5
    • 30th Jul 12, 12:53 PM
    actually, if I was made aware of it, I probably would not buy from a shop with child/cheap labour clothes. But saying that, that would deprive a poor child a life line. What we need to do as a society is, demand that the companies exploiting them, look after these children and make sure theu get an education, proper working hours, decent pay and protection from abuse from employers and adults working there.
    Last edited by bassu; 30-07-2012 at 12:55 PM.
    • lkate
    • By lkate 30th Jul 12, 2:31 PM
    • 60 Posts
    • 53 Thanks
    • #6
    • 30th Jul 12, 2:31 PM
    • #6
    • 30th Jul 12, 2:31 PM
    To be honest, even some expensive clothes are made through child labour and the companies make immense profits so what are we supposed to do? For all who read this it does not mean I condone or say its right. If I had a choice I would buy everything ethically but you just can't trust what these marketing geniuses say!!
    Last edited by lkate; 30-07-2012 at 2:34 PM.
  • ajlennon
    • #7
    • 30th Jul 12, 3:21 PM
    Effect on children and families
    • #7
    • 30th Jul 12, 3:21 PM
    What would the effect be on the children and their families if I and others didn't buy goods made by them?

    Presumably they'd lose their jobs and their family would lose that income?

    This would strongly influence my decision on whether to buy, and yet appears not to be an option in the poll.

    • PipneyJane
    • By PipneyJane 30th Jul 12, 3:48 PM
    • 1,360 Posts
    • 9,969 Thanks
    • #8
    • 30th Jul 12, 3:48 PM
    • #8
    • 30th Jul 12, 3:48 PM
    My conscience would not let me buy clothes made from cheap, sweatshop labour, particularly when children are being exploited so that their employers make substantial profits out of their hard labour. I can not help to sustain a business that does that (although, I have no qualms buying those self-same clothes second hand from a charity shop - it's not my Pounds that have contributed to child-exploitation).

    However, there is a flip side to this story. Often the child's income is helping to eek out a minute family budget and people would starve without it. Am I depriving that family of an income, by refusing to purchase clothes from company X ? Is there a better way to give them an income? Is there any support available to them? Do they live in a country where the government is corrupt and failing to pass the benefits of its economic wealth on to its population? (Nigeria's corrupt regional governments spring to mind.) Are local laws regarding school attendance, child labour, etc, being enforced or, for a fee, will officials turn a blind eye? Are charities allowed to operate freely or are they being leant on for bribes by those same corrupt officials?

    These are the questions I wrestle with. I do not have an answer. Each question seems to beget more questions than answers.
    "Be the type of woman that when you get out of bed in the morning, the devil says 'Oh crap. She's up.' "

    C.R.A.P R.O.L.L.Z. #47 Official Brain Harvesting Body Counter
  • moggylover
    • #9
    • 30th Jul 12, 3:56 PM
    • #9
    • 30th Jul 12, 3:56 PM
    The simple fact is that is is almost impossible to buy clothes that have NOT been made in sweatshops these days and that includes the majority of the "expensive" brands who merely rip off both their work force and us totally.

    There is no "better quality" in the "expensive" brands, they are often made in the same factories as the "cheap" clothes/shoes in the very same countries that have poor human rights records and poverty wages.

    Only when we start to refuse to import from the places where these human rights issues are not addressed will we have any hope of knowing that our clothes are at least partially ethically produced mainstream clothes, instead of the slightly "off-the-wall" fashions that are currently available (at truly horrendous and unnecessary prices) from more ethical producers.

    Since absolutely NONE of the companies that produce clothing would be willing to take a little less profit in return for the good publicity (and even the good feeling) of selling things that have not involved abuse/exploitation in their production then by God they will rip us a new one for the pleasure of buying them at that stage
    "there are some persons in this World who, unable to give better proof of being wise, take a strange delight in showing what they think they have sagaciously read in mankind by uncharitable suspicions of them"
    (Herman Melville)
    • torbrex
    • By torbrex 31st Jul 12, 12:31 PM
    • 61,883 Posts
    • 124,626 Thanks
    If the clothes are made to a quality that I like and at a price I am willing to pay, I do not really have any interest in where or who made them.

    Anyone that objects strongly to the child-sweatshops that make clothes should be making their own but then where would they get the raw materials from without that being subject to cheap/child-cotton field farm labour etc.
  • rickbonar
    How do you good people think a clothes shop chain owner becomes a multi billionaire?
    • pennypinchUK
    • By pennypinchUK 1st Aug 12, 7:52 AM
    • 382 Posts
    • 732 Thanks
    In reality, it's been shown that although many reputable UK retailers typically use quality manufacturers, those manufacturers often sub-contract work out to companies with lower health & safety standards, which includes child-labour. So we don't really know what working standards our clothes are manufactured in. Certainly, there are plenty of examples of so-called "high-end luxury items", with high end prices, being made by child labour. So as consumers we can't go on price alone.
    • petermasih
    • By petermasih 1st Aug 12, 7:58 AM
    • 26 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    I've lived in Pakistan. I've chatted to some of the children who did work for me, eg the lad who fixed my punctures and one who did a welding repair. They were often the main bread-winner in a family with a widowed Mum and four younger siblings. If some do-gooder stopped them working, their family could starve! There's no way they could get to school, because even in free schools you have to pay for uniform, text- and exercise-books. We need to encourage much wider social change.
    • pennypinchUK
    • By pennypinchUK 1st Aug 12, 8:02 AM
    • 382 Posts
    • 732 Thanks
    In Pakistan, until quite recently in some areas, children were employed in the sweatshops and adults were employed in the brick works (a hard labour, highly dangerous, long hour, hot and hazardous working environment). Then, UK pressure groups started complaining about child labour making the clothes that were in UK shops. So manufacturers were forced to stop employing children in clothes manufacturing. Adults were brought in, often from the brickworks, to make our clothes (at similar rates to the children were getting, i.e., very low) and the only employment children could find was in the brick works (which the brick works owners didn't mind, because they lowered the pay rates as they were employing children).

    So, the unintended consequence of the otherwise noble stance of UK consumers and fair trade minded retailers was to lower the pay rates in both the clothes manufacturing sweatshops and the brickworks. And now, children are employed in the far more hazardous brickworks environment.

    Whether we like it or not, in many families in the developing world, children are a used as a source of income by their own family, often to be able to scrape a bare living.

    Sometimes, we need to be careful of what we wish for, and how we go about achieving it.
  • mammasan25
    Oh come on!! How many told porkies here? It's all very well saying you wouldn't buy, but there are actually poor people in this country too who don't have a choice but to buy the cheapest goods, whether they were made by child labour or not. I work with some of the poorest members of society and if I asked them to source clothes from a reputable company they would laugh in my face! And rightly so. They don't have the choice of shopping at high class stores, but try to budget their meagre income by buying cheap goods to make ends meet and to feed and clothe their children. I think there is an element of snobbery here - yes, maybe you WOULD never buy from disreputable sources but methinks the reality is different!
    • gemmaj
    • By gemmaj 1st Aug 12, 11:44 AM
    • 429 Posts
    • 344 Thanks
    Who do we KNOW doesn't use child labour? (honest question!)

    The only companies who I am fairly certain don't are eg green baby or people tree. Have you seen their prices? As someone with young kids I couldn't afford to buy a whole new 'wardrobe' every 3 months / 6 months / 1 year (depending on age of baby/child). From what I have seen on the news, paying extra to shop at places like Gap is no guarantee of improvement in fair trade over Primark etc.

    I settle for buying a lot second hand, although I can never get everything I need.
    • rinabean
    • By rinabean 1st Aug 12, 2:09 PM
    • 349 Posts
    • 1,040 Thanks
    I try to buy British-made, western european-made or second-hand. I try and buy organic or pesticide-free fabrics. It's tough and, not being rich, I don't have a lot of new clothes! It would be tougher still if I had growing kids to clothe. That's just for normal and fashion clothes though - if I need something quickly for practical reasons I'm going to buy based only on cost and quality.

    I think encouraging people to buy the best quality clothes they can afford will be more fruitful than encouraging boycotts - most people simply don't stick to their boycotts, the companies know this, but if people are buying for quality they can buy a lot fewer clothes over the years for just a little more, and it keeps money from supporting these unethical practices. Besides, it's proper, old-fashioned thrift

    Don't pretend you buy things made with child labour because you care about the children and their family income!! Pull the other one. Where does that end? Child soldiers? Child prostitutes? It's fine, they wouldn't have been at school anyway, it's different in their country, hm? If you simply don't care that's one thing, but trying to justify it is disgusting.
    • Smedders11
    • By Smedders11 3rd Aug 12, 8:22 AM
    • 127 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    Sweatshops are, without a doubt, terrible, squalid and soul-crushing places to work. However, they aren't forced to work there. This begs the question: why do they work there?

    The reason is that the alternatives are so much worse it's unfathomable. I'm sure that if you were given the choice, you'd rather work in a factory at minimum wage as opposed to scavenging in rubbish dumps or working in even worse unregulated conditions and pay for other people organisations.

    Also, by switching your commerce to something you see more ethical (supporting British or Western manufacturers) then all you're doing is hurting their lifestyle and bringing down their conditions even more. It's a terrible fact of life, by economic prosperity comes from social hardship. All industrialised countries have undergone it, and that is why our lives are so much better than theirs.
    • lazer
    • By lazer 3rd Aug 12, 8:34 AM
    • 3,230 Posts
    • 4,519 Thanks
    After the end of the cottage industries came the industrial revolution in the UK and Ireland (1800's I think)

    Children were employed in coal mines, in textile factories (as they were small enough to be able to crawl under the machinery to collect scraps material etc.

    Child labour is not unique to the developing countries, the developed countries all (or at least the majority) used it during their development.

    Why do we feel the need to interfere in other countries development?

    Once development continues in these countries, child labour will slowly fade out, jsut like it has here.
    Weight loss challenge, lose 15lb in 6 weeks before Christmas.
  • Edwardia
    I think it's pretty difficult to really know how clothes are made because this happens abroad.

    I'm still losing weight so at the moment I'm buying secondhand stuff from Oxfam and cheap tshirts from Sainsbury's, ASDA and Tesco, some of which are certified organic FairTrade.

    I wouldn't knowingly buy clothes made by kids in sweatshops. The argument that people have to buy them because they can't afford anything but the cheapest clothes doesn't wash. Tshirts in charity shops can be 2.99 and some can be brand new.
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