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Back Away From the Knockoff

Back Away From the Knockoff

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Immigrant hands sew much of the clothing produced in the US. Source: Eduard Chugunov hide caption

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Source: Eduard Chugunov

Well, there's just one problem with all that love for Forever21 (or Forever31)... even if you do think fashion should be more democratic, and not merely the province of the excessively wealthy, how do you think the stores we CAN afford keep their prices so low? According to filmmakers Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar, it's because of domestic sweatshops. Hmmm. Suddenly I don't feel so good about that sparkly top I purchased for New Year's Eve... Was it only ten bucks because the person who sewed it (quite well, too — that was NYE two years ago, and the shirt's still in mint condition) was making less than half that per hour? What do you think? Do low prices on garments always mean sweat shop labor got them to the shelves? Do you think about that when you pick up a pack of undershirts or browse at the mall? And is there any way to buy ethically... AND economically?

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