Just a little reminder for us to think about where our clothes come from. Spanish retailer Zara has been accused of child labor and violating fair labor practices by Brazil’s Ministry of Labour and Employment. According to the agency, 52 workers in one of the company’s São Paulo factories were being held in “slave-like” conditions, and at least one underage girl was found working there, violating child labor laws. Workers were required to work 16-hour shifts in windowless factories, and were paid significantly below Brazil’s minimum wage, earning between $170 to $286 a month. As a result of Brazil’s several months’ long investigation, Zara’s been charged with 52 infractions.
Notes the Brazilian fiscal auditor, Zara “should be responsible for all of its suppliers, and it is a duty of the company to be aware of how its merchandise is being produced.” But that’s often not the case. And when retailers fail to follow the long tail of their supply chain down to their factory workers, everyone loses. Keep reading »