Seeking evidence of Forever 21's overseas sweatshops
June 26, 2012 2:03 PM   Subscribe

Are there any documented accounts of Forever 21 using sweatshop labor overseas?

I've been compiling some research on Forever 21. I've read Susan Berfield's article in Business Week, and I've found lots of information about 2001 lawsuit brought by the Garment Worker Center on behalf of 19 workers working in LA based sweatshops. Since 2005, Forever 21 has moved about 70% of it's manufacturing overseas. While there are many allegations that the company is exploiting cheap overseas labor (and I don't doubt it), I can't find any concrete information about labor violations or incidents after two days of sporadic googling. It's strange because I can find plenty of specific information related to other companies like Gap, Nike, etc. Can anyone point me to specific information about Forever 21's manufacturing in countries outside the US?
posted by kimdog to Law & Government (1 answer total)
As you probably know already, most of such sweatshop production is through contractors, not directly by the big brands. That way, they can simply feign ignorance of unfair labour practices when called out on them. The contractor will get dumped, before getting contracted again under a different factory name.

Now, there is often no lawsuit in the home country of the contractor, because labour laws are different and the workers don't have the economic capacity to do such things. Even when something happens, it may not be available online, or in English language. So, unless a good Samaritan brings those unfair practices out in the open for Western audiences, there is essentially no way for these things to become public knowledge in the West.

Your best bet is to look for suppliers claiming to be manufacturing for Forever 21. You can search for them on various sourcing website like alibaba etc. After that, you can search for those supplier names in country-specific searches. I am not hopeful that this will be successful, but that's the approach I'd take if I had to do this.
posted by vidur at 12:44 AM on July 3, 2012

« Older Help me find the perfect pen... 1000 of them!   |   Supply Chain Management for Small E-commerce... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.