When you buy American textiles online, you may have a hard time believing it’s really made in America.
The company has more than 3,000 factories in nearly 100 countries, and is the third-largest textile producer in the world behind China and Brazil.
And it’s not just the U.S. that’s making the clothes you see in the ads: A lot of the clothes made in China, India and elsewhere are made in Indonesia and Vietnam, where local workers are paid a fraction of the $10-per-kilogram wage paid to American workers.
“There’s a lot of labor in the textile industry that’s not really accounted for by the U,S.
labor market,” says Emily Sauer, senior research fellow at the Center for American Progress.
The U.K. has the largest textile industry in the U… [but] they’re paid less than American workers because they’re in China and Vietnam.
Sauer says that is a problem because, in addition to lower wages, American workers are more likely to be undocumented immigrants.
The same is true of Vietnam, Indonesia, Bangladesh and India, where labor laws are laxer and conditions are generally worse.
American workers aren’t just making clothes at American factories.
They’re also building a variety of American-made goods in the Middle East and Asia.
So what’s the deal?
In order to help their workers, American companies often use “sweatshop” or “labor-free zones,” which are typically places where workers can’t work or go without pay.
The concept has gained currency in recent years in the garment industry, where apparel and footwear manufacturers have pushed for increased wages and protections.
In 2011, for instance, Nike announced that it was opening up factory to the public in Turkey, a move that prompted protesters to storm its factory.
In 2013, an American textile maker called L.L. Bean launched the L.B. Bean Sweatshop in Indonesia.
L.A. clothing designer Linda Harvey says she made the change because she could see the factories were being overrun by workers.
The workers were in “disorganized, desperate, and demoralized,” she told The Next We… [and] it was a safe space, she said.
Harvey, who lives in the Los Angeles area, says she’s now a L.F.
A member and has helped open up Sweatshops in Bangladesh and Vietnam since the factory opened.
“We are now part of a global movement,” Harvey told The NewsHour.
“It’s not about being cheap.
It’s about being fair and it’s about dignity.
We are a global community that values and believes in labor rights, and we’re going to continue to work towards a global future that has dignity for all of us.”