People Don’t Forget

While I was reading some online information about how American clothing labels get their stuff manufactured in Chinese sweatshops I started noticing something. All the sites that I was visiting looked very dated. This issue was a cause du jour several years ago . An undated PBS web page linked to a very impressive chart showing the wages and conditions at various factories as well as what fashion house they were working for. That chart had a date at the bottom, it was made in 1998.

The lack of freshness of the info is best illustrated by the fact that one of the main targets for criticism was Kathy Lee Gifford. For all I know she could be working in a sweatshop by now. When I googled a few factory names, I saw the dated information being paraphrased or quoted in blogs from this century. The manufacturing industry of China is huge, I am not even going to pretend to know whether the situation is better or worse today. I am pretty sure that things are not exactly the same as they were in 1998.

The thing that bothers me about this situation is that companies that respond to criticism by cleaning up their acts deserve to have the positive changes acknowledged. It seems like having ten year old facts used against them would be a disincentive.

On the bright side, hopefully new corporations understand that unethical practices can result in decades worth of negative word of mouth.




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