A Study of Factors Which Contribute to Garment Industry Sweatshops

Date
2014-09-26
Authors
Young, Jade
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract
I began this study hoping to learn about the people who began the garment industry in America. Little did these early seamstresses, cutters, and pressers know that they were planting the seeds of a sixty billion dollar industry. As I researched the history of the garment industry, I learned about the sufferings that these early people endured working in garment industry sweatshops. Their lives did not fit my idea of the glamourous life that many people associate with the fashion industry. I began to feel that I wanted to let people outside of the industry know something about the deplorable conditions people worked under in the early days of the fashion industry. As I read more, however, I learned something that I found even more surprising and important: SWEATSHOPS ARE NOT HISTORY! I discovered that garment industry sweatshops have again become almost as big a problem today as they were when this industry began. I really thought that no one in the United States in 1985 worked for starvation wages and under dangerous and degrading conditions. The fashion industry promotes glamour and elegance, it manufactures billions of dollars of clothing a year, and it employs over a million people, but what are the conditions under which this fashionable clothing is made? Do the ends justify the means?
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