Clothing made in sweatshops is produced by multiple human rights violations, including child labor, sub-minimum wages, no benefits, forced overtime, and unsafe conditions.
Clothing serves to cover, and to protect, the body, as well expresses a person's identity and sense of style. In today's North American society, concern is growing about the conditions under which clothing is made. Over the past century, various labour standards laws in Canada & the USA have provided workers both livable wages and safe working conditions. With the expansion of free trade agreements, and the reduction of trade barriers, domestic industries now compete with cheap imports from developing countries, where not only low wages but, inhumane working conditions, and few workers rights prevail.
The anti-sweatshop movement has become a strong advocate in recent years for garment workers around the world. Purchasing sweatshop-free and union-made clothing supports the growth of companies who maintain fair labor standards for their workers here and abroad, and raises income levels and worker self-esteem as part of a global society & global economy.
You can help by buying brands that honour workers' basic rights by choosing companies that put people before profits. The Shop with a Conscience Consumer Guide recognizes some manfacturers for their contribution including American Apparel, Good Humans, The Green Loop, Justice Clothing Company, Lotus Organics, NatureWear Organics, and No Sweat Apparel.