The True Cost
The True Cost
Owing to their immense popularity and well-established brand name, many clothing companies have now expanded globally to different nations all over the world. The offered products by the companies are sold at lower rates than their competitors, making them market leaders in the fashion industry. However, owing to its increased sales, the companies are known to mass produce their products through outsourcing to garment factories in 3rd world and poor countries. The documentary highlights that the labor is outsourced to certain countries like Bangladesh, Taiwan and others so the labor is also cheap. The clothes are made in Asian countries where the workers are paid very small wages and work under poor conditions (by Western standards) and expect relatively small profits in order to gain bigger sales. The element of outsourcing is detrimental to the host country which suffers at the cost of the rich nations.
Outsourcing is especially effective for the textile industries and garment factories in 3rd world nations like Bangladesh, India and Pakistan etc. where production costs are often limited to cheap machinery and uneducated workforce. Bangladesh is a developing nation with huge garments manufacturing capacities. The industries and sweatshops working in Bangladesh can fill makeshift workplaces with hundreds of underpaid workers, working around the clock with no regard to things such as basic human rights, and are able to reduce costs to a pittance. The companies like Primark operating in these nations are known to combine these low production costs with optimized distribution webs and high sales volume and get a healthy revenue, coupled with a nice profitability.
The corporate social responsibility of the textile industries
Universally, the organizations have set a few rules for corporate social duty to take into account with inside just as outside powers at work. This set of accepted rules depends on the all-inclusive belief systems that demonstrate the center morals of the business. Expanding globalization implies advancement in every aspect of trade, consequently the methods for directing organizations have improved also. Thus, the material business is making enhancements in its CSR procedure according to the improving measures.
To gain a professional standing in the eyes of their clients, the apparel businesses are engaging in various social responsibilities activities. Almost all the industries in first world countries have laws and acts protecting the rights of their employees. However, the hideous story of incidents like the Dhaka accident in 2013 remain masked under the veil of the immense poverty. The fact that 1000 of deaths were caused by the sheer ignorance on the part of the industry owners remains ignored by Joe Fresh (an apparel administrative) who justifies the situation of the workers by saying "there are a lot worse things they could be doing."
The issues of using minorities as laborers, little pay rates, processing plant security, representatives' wellness, and ecological debasement in third world economies stays unaddressed. The ventures in these poor nations should search for the prosperity of their representatives like they are family as opposed to underestimating them. Morgan highlights the same issue by analyzing the following statistics in his documentary
“Fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world, second only to oil; we now consume 500% more clothing than we did two decades ago; in 1960 America produced over 95% of its own clothing, while today the figure stands at 3%, with the rest outsourced to developing countries.”
The idea of social responsibility is unfamiliar to the third world nations. The sheer absence of awareness for representative's rights and no suits need to change at the earliest. Indeed, even in this dynamic age where the world discusses human rights and related well-being, one of the essential experiences that the fabric production companies are still facing are child labor and forced labor.
The leading garment and clothing import businesses of Europe and United States which proudly make public announcements of their CSR activities for the welfare of their people and the environment tend to forget their oaths when it comes to developing countries. The laws and guidelines in every one of such nations fluctuate radically. Likewise, it is the situation particularly for the creating nations whose economies rely upon the outside earnings originating from the import of piece of clothing. The administration keeps on discrediting any work laws and disregard the circumstance of their kin to hold the specific outside speculations and to moderate the danger of losing these vast players to another country offering the services at much lower prices. It prompts further decrease of the assembling costs, and even the enormous garments trademarks will in general disregard the grave wrongdoing for the egregious working conditions when it comes to outsourcing their production. The 3rd world countries, for instance, India don't pay emphasis to strict implementations of the labor laws like USA or Germany which has led to more and more outsourcing to these countries by the big players to avoid all costs of litigations.
The summary remains that all the facts stated in the documentary are all appallingly frightening. However, the video attempts not only to highlight the problems but presents a few solutions in the urgency of the affair. While the attitude of big brands regarding the issue can't be forgotten, it is essential to remember the struggles of a few "fair trade" attire industrialists, for instance, Stella McCartney, who continues to spread awareness about environmental apprehensions and create better job opportunities for many into her company.
Jenkins, R., 2005. Globalization, corporate social responsibility and poverty. International affairs, 81(3), pp.525-540.
Barua, U. and Ansary, M.A., 2017. Workplace safety in Bangladesh ready-made garment sector: 3 years after the Rana Plaza collapse. International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 23(4), pp.578-583.
Siddiqui, J. and Uddin, S., 2016. Human rights disasters, corporate accountability and the state: Lessons learned from Rana Plaza. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 29(4), pp.679-704.
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