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Are H&M just jumping on the pc bandwagon?
Advertising as we know is basically part dishonesty and part psychology. Benetton have been at it for years and it was their trademark hence the United Colours of Benetton. not bandwagon jumping, not fashionably cutting edge just plain we don't care what colour you are we love you all and here wear our clothes
However that all changed in the late 90's when the Benetton family gave carte blanche to photographer Olivero Toscani (I think his name was) who went seriously ape and changed the Benetton meme with his outlandish and totally off the wall adverts unrelated to anything the company was actually selling.
the truth is they like H & M still used cheap Chinese and Indian labour, considered putting miniature tracking devices in clothing to keep tabs on inventory and in 2013 when the Rana Plaza Building in Bangladesh collapsed resulting in the deaths of over 1000 people, Benetton refused to pay compensation to the survivors Trust Fund.
But matters are not that simple, and the moral lines are not that clear. In fact, let me make a counter-accusation: The lofty moral tone of the opponents of globalization is possible only because they have chosen not to think their position through. While fat-cat capitalists might benefit from globalization, the biggest beneficiaries are, yes, Third World workers.
It remains true that given their low productivity, countries like Bangladesh can’t be competitive with advanced countries unless they pay their workers much less, and provide much worse working conditions too. The Bangladeshi apparel industry is going to consist of what we would consider sweatshops, or it won’t exist at all. And Bangladesh, in particular, really really needs its apparel industry; it’s pretty much the only thing keeping its economy afloat.
At this point, however, there really isn’t any competition between apparel production in poor countries and rich countries; the whole industry has moved to the third world. The relevant competition is instead among poor countries — Bangladesh versus China, in particular. And here the differences aren’t as dramatic: McKinsey (pdf) estimates Bangladeshi productivity in apparel at 77 percent of China’s level.
So, can we act to improve the lot of workers in low-age, labor-intensive manufacturing? Yes, we can, as long as the goals are realistic and the measures appropriate in scale. And we should go ahead and do it.