“A” is for American made, since BetterThread is based in the US, but we also award this badge to companies who make their products in the European Union, since those countries have comparatively high human rights laws compared to many Asian countries where most clothing factories are located. Sure, China-made clothing is cheaper, but that low-cost clothing comes at a high price for the people that put it together.
Here are just a few of the reasons to check where your clothing is made.
Children under 12 years of age have been found working in sweatshops, sewing clothes for Walmart, Hanes, J.C. Penney, and Puma.
Overly Long Work Days
Children working extensive hours in a factory in Bangladesh reported falling to the ground due to physical exhaustion. Some were forced to work all night in shifts up to 20 hours long, seven days a week.
Workers in Bangladesh have received wages as low as 6.5 cents per hour. Workers in the Harvest Rich factory in Bangladesh received no over-time pay and were beaten if they dared to ask for the full amount they were due.
Unsafe working conditions
In some countries, workers are locked inside factories until their shifts end. Fires are a high risk in most factories and have caused numerous deaths. Numerous other factories are dangerous due to lack of structural upkeep and hazardous chemicals or machinery.
Children found working in a factory in Bangladesh reported being routinely slapped and beaten for not meeting production goals or for making mistakes.
Long hours and repetitive work often lead to injuries for garment workers who are rarely given access to adequate health care. Workers who do seek medical care can be fired for taking time off to see doctors or to recover from injuries. Women are often denied maternity leave or pressured into quitting so that the employer can avoid providing the maternity leave required by law.
We can do betterSo that’s all pretty horrible to say the least, right? Fortunately there’s a growing number of companies that are treating people right. When you support them, you’re showing that customers are willing to pay a little more so that other people don’t have to suffer. Plus, if you buy from companies in your own country, you’re cutting down on the fuel it would take to ship your goods halfway across the globe.Some may argue that if too many consumers stop buying products made in China, then China’s people will lose their jobs or the economy will be negatively affected. However, there is evidence to suggest that once consumers change the way they shop, manufacturers will change the way they produce their goods in order to meet the demands of their customers.