The Ethics of Global Manufacturing


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The Ethics of Global Manufacturing

  1. 1. Fraying at The Edges Global Manufacturing & The Garment Industry
  2. 2. Overview - Intro/Thesis - History - Economics - Political/Legal - Ethics/Culture - Critical Thinking Demystification
  3. 3. Introduction When you pull on a sweater or a shirt, you are tugging at a thousand or possibly a million threads and seams, all working together to cover you. Different colors from different places from different ideals. But if you look closely those same threads could fray apart if not taken care of or watched out for.
  4. 4. Thesis Unless a broad understanding of global manufacturing, from its economic, political, legal, and cultural environments, is thought of in a holistic and human way, the troubled parts of the condition, the child slavery, the horrendous work conditions, and rampant waste will slowly fray the whole, like a falling thread off a tattered sweater.
  5. 5. History - Pre-Industrial - Majority of Garment Production is Local - Only Global Market Was Specialty Centered in India Silk & Cotton Luxuries - North American & European Production Woolen Items Standard - Global Trade Small & Barter Common
  6. 6. History - Industrial Revolution - Mass Production Process Initiated Raw Materials Shipped From Far Corners of Globe (India, Africa, etc.) to England for Finishing - Regulations First Implemented - Finished Products Consumed Locally and Shipped Globally
  7. 7. History - Present Day Past is Present West pays the East to Grow and Finish Clothing Past is Present Designed to Further Enrich the West because the Work is Given to the East because it is Cheaper
  8. 8. Economics - Overview $125 $0 $250 $375 $500 Imports Apparel Personal Care Jewelry Exports Footwear Global Revenue (Millions) 70 53 35 18 Cambodia El Salvador 0 Bangledesh Sri Lanka Mauratis Lesoto Dominican Republic Honduras Clothing Exports as a Percentage Share of Economy's Total Merchandise Exports
  9. 9. Economics - Trends - Outsourcing Anew Domestic/Overseas Hybrids and Onsite Quality Assurance & Design - Consolidation of Companies Manufacturers Restructuring to Cut Losses - Working Conditions Sweatshop Codes Getting Better But Labor Abuse Hard to Police - Semi-Automated Equipment Hand Work Finally Being Replaced
  10. 10. Economics - Business Outlook - Foreign Product Drives Economics Cheaper Labor Means Big Business - Large Retailers Dominant Larger Portion of Retail Means Smaller Manufacturers Out of Businesses - Profit Margins Low Brand Name Only Thing That Secures Higher Profits - Trade Regulation Has Effects Quotas and Tariffs Play Large Role
  11. 11. Economics - Paid How Much?
  12. 12. Political/Legal - US Worker Standards Bureau of Fire Prevention (City / State Level) - Required fire alarms, hoses, stairwells, sprinklers - Determined Maximum Occupancy - Outlawed Smoking in Factories - Conducts Building Inspection - Passed Bills on worker injury, child labor, break periods, etc.
  13. 13. Political/Legal - US Worker Standards American Society of Safety Engineers (Country Level) - Created months after Triangle Fire (1911) - Oldest professional safety society - Secretariat for American National Standards Institute - Safety Requirements for Construction - Health and Safety for Ventilation Systems - Occupational Health and Safety Systems
  14. 14. Political/Legal - International Labor Organization - Founded in 1919 as an UN agency - Annual International Labour Conference - Compiles labor statistics for over 200 countries - Notable adopted conventions: Right to Organize Convention – 1948 Equal Remuneration Convention (Equal Pay) – 1951 Minimum Age Convention – 1973 Labour Inspection Convention - 1947 Occupational Safety & Health Convention - 1981
  15. 15. Political/Legal - Spotlight: China “Accident Prone” article – June 2013 - 120 deaths, 70 injured in workforce of 300 - Two of three exits locked to prevent excess breaks - Management / President of China play the blame game - Protesters gather the next morning outside building
  16. 16. Political/Legal - Spotlight: China “Accident Prone” article – June 2013 - 120 deaths, 70 injured in workforce of 300 - Two of three exits locked to prevent excess breaks - Management / President of China play the blame game - Protesters gather the next morning outside building “End of Cheap Labor” article – June 2013 - Fast Rising wages, worker activism, labor shortages - Growth in working age population sharply declining
  17. 17. Ethics - Overview Commerce Commonality Culture
  18. 18. Ethics - Commerce - Jobs vs. Slavery, Economy vs. Squalor Sweat Shops Still Making Your Clothes - Tangled Web of Garments Garment Manufacturing Large Part of Country Economies - Clothing Choices Fast Fashion Makes Fast Waste
  19. 19. Ethics - Commonality - Fair Trade on the Rise Paying Higher Price for Higher Values - Labor Practices Becoming Paramount Garment Manufacturing Large Part of Country Economies - Positive Threads Higher Standards could Mean Better Treatment
  20. 20. Ethics - Culture - Cultural Trimmings Using Ethnicities to Drive Fashion - Consumption Culture Garment Manufacturing Large Part of Country Economies - Clash of Civilizations Manufacturing Fills World with Westernized Fashion
  21. 21. Ethics - Who Does The Work?
  22. 22. Critical Thinking - Demystification
  23. 23. Critical Thinking - Demystification
  24. 24. Critical Thinking - Demystification
  25. 25. Conclusion - History Tells Us of Markets and Exchange: How Different is It? - Garment Manufacturing Has to Make Cents But Make Sense - We Must Look to Make Garment Manufacturing Safe, Honest, and Fair for Everyone Involved - Ethical Conduct Must Be Explored Holistically, from Different Countries to Different Ideals Mending the Frays Together
  26. 26. References American Society of Safety Engineers (2013). About American Society of Safety Engineers. from Apparel manufacturing. (2013). Retrieved from industryId=1161 Blumgart, J. (2013, Mar 21). Sweatshops still make your clothes Salon, Retrieved from sweatshops_still_make_your_clothes/ Bureau of Labor Statistics (June 7th, 2013). Manufacturing in China. from Bureau of Labor Statistics (December 19th, 2012). International Comparisons of Hourly Compensation Costs in Manufacturing, 2011. Retrieved from Chau, L. (2012, Sep 21). The wasteful culture of forever 21, h&m, and 'fast fashion'. US News and World Report, Retrieved from http:// City of Port Jervis New York (2009). Port Jervis Bureau of Fire Prevention. Retrieved from Type=B_BASIC&SEC={98DEBA1E-E11B-4004-BBAD-8B71893B39B0} Cross, S. (2013). Clothing industry moral & ethical aspects. Houston Chronicle, Retrieved from Das, Mitali and N’Diaye, Papa (June 2013). The End of Cheap Labor. from Ethical fashion: Is the tragedy in bangladesh a final straw?. (2013, May 2). Retrieved from ethical-fashion-is-the-tragedy-in-bangladesh-a-final-straw Fynn, S. (2013, Sep 9). [Web log message]. Retrieved from Gereffi, G., & Memedovic, O. United Nations, (2003).The global apparel value chain: What prospects for upgrading by developing countries. Retrieved from UNIDO website: THE GLOBAL APPAREL VALUE CHAIN: What Prospects for Upgrading by Developing Countries
  27. 27. References Hickman, L. (2004, May 24). Do try this at home where to buy ethical clothing. The Guardian. Retrieved from http:// Holland , K. (2013, May 30). How to bring ethics into your closet. CNBC, Retrieved from Horiguchi, R. (January 25th, 2013). Fatal Injury Rate at Work by Country. from occupational_fatality_by_county International Labour Organization (2013). International Labour Organization. from International Labour Organization (2012). International Labour Organization Conventions. from p=NORMLEXPUB:12100:0::NO::P12100_INSTRUMENT_ID:312226 Judkis, M. (2012, Mar 16). U.n. expert offended by rodarte aboriginal-print fashion. The Washington Post. Retrieved from http:// gIQAr0nNGS_blog.html McNamara, K. The World Bank, The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. (2008).The global textile and garments industry: The role of information and communication technologies (icts) in exploiting the value chain. Retrieved from The World Bank website: Products of slavery. (2010, Oct). Retrieved from TheMomCat / cross posted from the Stars Hollow Gazette (March 23rd, 2011). The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire: The Aftermath. Retrieved from The Economist (June 4th, 2013). China’s Workplaces: Accident Prone. from
  28. 28. References Trebay, G. (2012, Mar 14). An uneasy cultural exchange. The New York Times. Retrieved from fashion/an-uneasy-exchange-between-fashion-and-navajo-culture.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1& Would you pay a higher price for 'ethical' clothing?. (2013, May 1). Retrieved from United States Department of Labor (2013). The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911 – The Aftermath. Retrieved from http:// United States Department of Labor (March 16th, 2012). American Society of Safety Engineers- OSHA National Alliances. from https:// [Web log message]. (2012, May 25). Retrieved from
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