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in the news: factory fire, refugee child workers, & new ways to report abuse

Syrian refugee children found working in Next and H&M factories

Hundreds of thousands of Syrian adults in Turkey work for low pay far below the minimum wage of 1,300 Turkish lira (£309) per month. Many children are employed as cheap labour on farms and factories in breach of Turkish and international laws that forbid those under 12 from working. Children aged 13-14 are banned from all but light work.

“We cannot talk about it”: Factory workers for major fashion labels live confined by guards

Among the worst of the findings in the report was that some Bengaluru factories kept women (the majority of garment workers) in hostels monitored by male security guards and severely restricted their movements. Most were allowed to leave for only two hours a week, usually on Sunday to buy groceries and other items, and only after registering with a guard.

Another major factory fire in Bangladesh shows “industry safeguards” are failing

The Matrix Sweater Factory, on the eighth floor of a building in Gazipur, burned for nearly four hours before firefighters could contain it, the Daily Star reported. The same factory caught on fire on Jan. 29, News Bangladesh reported.

21 Surprising Statistics That Reveal How Much Stuff We Actually Own

…our homes have more television sets than people. And those television sets are turned on for more than a third of the day—eight hours, 14 minutes

Starbucks the Benevolent?

Working there typically means making low wages and having to smile when customers order no-whip, extra-foam lattes with one and a half packets of Splenda. But in a growing number of places, Starbucks will do a little something special to make up for that.

Cellphones Are Letting Companies Learn What Their Factories Are Really Like

A “social audit” is one conducted in person, which sounds rigorous. But in practice, managers are often present during audits, making factory workers hesitant to complain for fear of retaliation, and, on top of that, some workers have reported being coached by managers on the “correct” responses to inspectors’ questions. 

Thanks to Ethical Writers Co. members and ZADY’s The New(s) Standard for the links! Sign up for The New(s) Standard here.

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Saturday 6th of February 2016

I had a lot of trouble trying to find suitable officewear that was fair trade. A post for women would be great too!

Leah Wise

Friday 5th of February 2016

No problem! Thought it was about time to mention what's going on in the industry outside of my personal spending habits!

Leah Wise

Friday 5th of February 2016

That's a good idea. I've had a lot of difficulty finding men's clothing that isn't slender or athletic fit, but there are plenty of options. I'll put that on my post ideas list and try to get to it in the coming month.


Friday 5th of February 2016

I'd love to see you do a piece on ethical/eco menswear. It seems that most of what's available is super casual. Are there options for workwear for guys beyond the (always small) selection at the local resale shops?


Friday 5th of February 2016

Thanks for posting these informative links!

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