Zara and “RESPECT”: Ethic Issues in the Fashion Business
Zara, one of the fashion giants, is an example of a company, quickly responding to changes and charging low prices for its clothes (e.g. nice jumper for less than $30 is real-life).
Its high time to track the elaboration process of the fancy item! Public Eye, an investigative group from Switzerland (yeah, they work with human rights and corruption) just kicked one fashion ass! According to them, the hoodie for approximately $29 from Zara’s collection “Join Life”, was possessed as a sustainable one. But, the wages for workers, involved in the production of this item, are not fucking enough for living.
Allegedly, Zara’s salaries should be two or three times higher to follow its own standards.
Zara strongly rejects all the survey data. Public Eye says, that it is a wangle to keep prices on a low level because of the save on the workers’ wages. Sweet!
The backstage of hoodie production
The sweatshirt with a “RESPECT” print was born at Izmir factory, Turkey. In comparison with a lot of fashion corporations, which outsourced their productions to South Asian countries, Zara concentrates mostly in Morocco, Turkey, Portugal, and Spain.
Public Eye claims, that it could have got at least some info about clothes’ origins after requesting Zara for a very long time. The fashion giant gave scarce data about the factory, that produces fabric, cut and sewed factories, and printer for texting on clothes. Public Eye used that info to identify the factories’ locations.
The replies from Zara about money, invested in factories, were really dodgy, the Public Eye dibs. After visiting factories and interviewing the employees, the group found out, that cutting and sewing facility gets little more than €1.5 for every item.
Afterward, Public Eye in collaboration with Clean Clothes Campaign (those guys, who try to improve conditions of sewing workers) and consultancy Le Basic assessed the wage for every step in hoodie production.
Total numbers cannot be completely accurate, because Zara sells most of the items in different countries for different prices (value-added tax variance, innit?). The cost of one hoodie varies from €25.95 to almost €40 (for instance, in Switzerland).
Tons of financial data were analyzed by French nerds from Le Basic to receive shawkward results. Zara’s pretax profit for every item is €4.20. Every production step amounts to €7.76 per hoodie. And fucking surprise: the total sum of the wage costs for the workers involved (from Indian cotton farmers to Turkey garments) is €2.09! Guys, it’s even not half of the profit per hoodie!
Public Eye did the math by saying, those are factory workers, who make this business thriving.
Zara and its parent company Inditex refuted the results of the research. They claim, that Public Eye findings are based on the fake data and all those numbers about production costs are blue-skied. “Our workers are paid more than it was mentioned in your douchebag report”, not literally words of Zara’s spokesperson.