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Luxury brands: higher standards?

If you pay more for clothing, do workers on assembly lines and in cotton fields automatically get paid more?

Cheap retailers such as Primark, Tesco and Asda are generally held up as the villains of the industry: accused of driving wages and working conditions down through their desire to sell clothes at extraordinarily cheap prices. Buying expensive clothes is often suggested as an ethical option... However, a high price tag is no guarantee of ethical practices.

Numerous high-end brands … have been highlighted in a recent Clean Clothes Campaign report on conditions in the “Euro-Mediterranean textile cluster” – the former Soviet countries of eastern Europe plus Turkey. 

It is low minimum wages that draw corporations to the global south. Burberry’s decision to close factories in Britain in 2007 and relocate manufacturing to China was driven by cost based analysis – it wanted to make £1.5m a year more in profit. Profit depends on companies maximising the difference between a garment’s sale price and its production cost. High-end retailers and the luxury sector can appear to exist outside of this system – shielded by ideas like craftsmanship and design, but behind the gloss is the same dirt. The same factories and same working conditions.

Source Extract from article in The Guardian looking at whether there is really a link between the cost of luxury clothing and the way it is produced.
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