Trouser Quest…Episode IV: A New Hope?

June 24, 2013

IMG_7207Here is the fabric I bought for the next test of New Look 6713. It is an olive pinwale corduroy with NO stretch. On sale and with enough for patch pockets, it only cost AUD $11.00! Amazing…and for trousers that actually fit and are comfortable but then my labour is the free part of the equation for me.

This reminds me of the actual cost of labour and how big companies drive down the price of labour to make cheaper goods to sell more of.

I read in the newspaper yesterday that many of the big mulitnationals like Kmart, Target, Tesco, Wal-Mart and Disney have been leaving their contracts in Bangladesh. They think it is a bit stinky for public relations so they are running to where the air is sweeter or rather where the consumer can not smell the stink of their dodgy dealings.  So now, the garment workers who had so little, now have even less.

In a recent survey, Oxfam apparently found that 68% of respondents would be happy to pay more for their clothes if they could be guaranteed the garment workers were being paid an ethical wage. But instead of working with Bangladeshi business and government to improve the wages and working conditions of garment workers, many of the big companies are just going somewhere else.

This is not what I hoped would happen from the Bangladesh factory disaster and the deaths of hundreds of garment workers and their children.  I wish I had something pithy and insightful to say about the brutal, implacable hand of consumer capitalism but I just feel sad and dispirited.


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  1. Amen to that it is too easy for us to forget what time means. The further away the business the easier it is to detach. The advantage of making it yourself is not only the free labour and thus the ethically cheaper price, but also you get to put the pockets where you want ’em. Pockets are important.

  2. Ohh Love a bargain! Especially when its the perfect corduroy for making perfect pants with perfect patch pockets!! I agree that the cowardly retreat of the big companies is dispiriting. I thought they would work with the businesses to raise the standards..

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