Friday, August 19, 2011

OneAngryClotheshorse: Wesley Darling is mad at Zara - you should be too.

Hello lovers! Since Ian Awesome is in transition (and no, he's not becoming a woman) I thought I'd bring some serious fashion news to your attention. Spanish fast-fashion* chain Zara, makers of some of the most consistently cute (and relatively inexpensive) clothing known to bargain-hunters anywhere, have broken my heart a little bit.

According to Brazilian newspaper Reoporter Brasil, Zara has recently come under investigation for using a third-party supplier who contracts slave-like child labor to make their garments. Among their findings were reports of children as young as 14 and 15 working in unsanitary conditions for periods of 16 hours at a time, and being paid as little as 274-460 Brazilian Real a year (Between 175 and 285 USD).

This hearkens back to the dark days of the '90s, when everyone from Kathie Lee Gifford to The Gap was under investigation for using child labor. It was THE hot-button topic for some time, and while the media has not focused on this subject recently, clearly it is still a major problem. The rhetoric from retailers has always been "We had no idea our garments were produced this way," but isn't it the brand's responsibility to find out where their clothes are coming from?

The presence of suppliers like the one found in Brazil also bring up a serious question for the consumer - is that $12 top really too good to be true? Maybe doing a bit more research about where your super el-cheapo fashion finds were constructed would be helpful in discouraging further human rights violations. As yours truly puts it, "Perhaps my jeans WERE exorbitantly expensive, but they weren't made in a sweaty windowless box by children."

*Fast-fashion is a generic term for the inexpensively produced, trendy garments that are inspired by the most current runway looks. Usually shopping in these stores requires lots of screaming, grabbing, and occasionally fist-fighting with other savvy fashionistas, in order to secure the perfect outfit.


  1. Now I understand why you're angry! Thanks for posting. I think everyone should question the origin of products that are too inexpensive, unless they are shopping at the Value Village!

  2. I can't figure out how to read older posts!

  3. Never mind. How do you find time to write all this stuff?!