Some years ago we had a debate about how ethical is to get clothes from third world countries around the world, countries that don’t have working conditions similar to Europe or US and where child labor is still a problem today. Things changes a little bit after the information broke out to western public, but we wanted to know where their clothes are manufactured.
So we took 2 companies and analysed their factories around the world.
Primark was one of the companies that was under scrutiny after the scandal broke in 2011, with some Bangladesh factory workers “cry for help” reached european media. All culminated with the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster, in which more than 1000 people were killed.
After all those events, Primark decided to create a special page on their website, getting into details about how their factories around the world work. They’ve tried to improve working conditions among workers in Asia, got more inspections on their factories so they can maintain a good production and working condition.
They have factories in three continents: Europe (Ireland, UK, France, The Netherland, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy, Poland, Croatia, Greece, Moldova, Romania and Turkey), Africa (Morocco and Egypt) and Asia (Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Taiwan and Indonesia).
H & M
H & M factories are still under scrutiny, as an article from QZ revealed, the best factories that produce clothes for H & M still don’t have proper fire exits and they would never get a licence to operate in US or Europe. And that even after the Rana Plaza disaster that I’ve mentioned earlier, a disaster in which a lot of workers that made clothes for H & M died. There are still things to improve, as H & M would say, but if they want to prove that, they have to request certain measures to be taken on some factories in East Asia. That would probably set our clothes prices higher than now, but I think it’s something worth doing, since it would improve the working conditions.
H & M has a lot of factories around the world, mostly in the same places as Primark, with some extra location in Europe (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Latvia and Sweden), Africa (Ethiopia and Tunisia) and Asia (China and South Korea).
There are a lot of other factories that produce clothing around the world, most of them in South East Asia, Turkey and Eastern Europe, and there are still a lot of places where working conditions need to improve. Do you know cases of hard working conditions in your region ? Tell us more in the comments.
This article was also published in Medium.