The Big Idea

L.A. Factories That Made Clothes For Forever 21, T.J. Maxx Paid Workers $4 an Hour

Photo by Owen CL/Unsplash Los Angeles has a sweatshop problem, and bargain retailers like Forever 21, T.J. Maxx, and Ross are reaping the benefits. At a press conference on Wednesday,…

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13 People Killed in Fire at Illegal Garment Factory in India

Photo by Chandan Khanna for AFP At least 13 workers have died after a fire broke out at a suspected illegal garment factory on the outskirts of Delhi in India on Friday morning. Local…

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"Dozens" of Safety Violations Found at Bangladeshi Factory That Makes Donald J. Trump Shirts

Photo by Andrew Neel/Unsplash The sweatshop that produces shirts for Donald Trump’s apparel brand has been cited for a laundry list of safety violations, making it an unsafe work…

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BBC Exposé Reveals Child Refugees Making Clothes for British High Street

Factories in Turkey are employing Syrian refugee children as young as 10 to make clothes for the British high street, an undercover investigation by BBC’s Panorama has found.…

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"Organic" Cosmetics Industry Riddled With Bogus Claims, Says Report

Photo by Alice Achterhof/Unsplash A new study has found that many cosmetics labeled as “organic” may also carry unsafe toxins. The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database…

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Ivanka Trump's Shoe Line Allegedly Made Under Sweatshop Conditions

The Trump family just might be the clearest example of the adage “do as I say, not as I do.” After advocating for better conditions for working mothers on behalf of her…

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Is the World Bank Guilty of Supporting Forced Cotton Labor in Uzbekistan?

Photo by the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights Is the World Bank an enabler? A leading human-rights group certainly thinks so. Nearly 60 years after the International Labour…

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We're Sending 26 Billion Pounds of Reusable Textiles to the Landfill Every Year

Photo by Celestine Ngulube/Unsplash “Fast fashion” is defined by three cardinal traits: it’s cheap, it’s trendy, and it’s expendable. It’s a tack…

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Americans Are Drowning in "Stuff" (And It's Stressing Us Out)

Photo by Artificial Photography/Unsplash Americans are drowning in more unnecessary “stuff” than ever before, and it’s literally making us sick. So concludes Buried:…

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Donald Trump's "American-Made" Suits May Not Actually be Made in the U.S.A.

Photo by Danny Reuter for Reuters In a plot twist that will surprise absolutely no one, Donald Trump’s allegedly “American-made” suits may not actually be as homegrown…

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Those Pricey "Made in Italy" Shoes Could Have Come From a Sweatshop

Think that “made in Europe” corresponds with fair labor? You couldn’t be more mistaken. Slapdash working conditions and poverty wages are as endemic to the continent…

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New Book Accuses Cambodian H&M Factory of Hiring 14-Year-Old Workers

H&M worked with factories in Myanmar where children as young as 14 stitched clothes for more than 12 hours a day, claims an upcoming book about “fast fashion’s seedy…

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India's Children Are Dying for Your Sparkly Eye Shadow

India has a “blood mica” problem. Deep within the South Asian nation’s off-the-books “ghost” mines, children as young as 5 toil alongside adults to pick…

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"Fast Fashion" Made These Men Some of the Planet's Richest

Want to get rich? Build a clothing empire based on aggressive expansion, breakneck turnarounds, cheap materials, and even cheaper labor. “Fast fashion,” as Quartz reported…

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9-Year-Old Child Worker Dies in Textile Mill in Bangladesh

Photo by Varshesh Joshi/Unsplash Police in Bangladesh have arrested a textile-mill supervisor for allegedly torturing a 9-year-old worker to death over the weekend. The boy, Sagar…

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Greenpeace Slams Mammut, The North Face for Toxic Chemical Use

Greenpeace wants outdoor-apparel companies to clear the air, stat. A recent investigation by the environmental nonprofit found high concentration of hazardous per- and polyfluorinated…

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Which Personal-Care Brands Are Still Polluting the Oceans With Microbeads?

Are you polluting the oceans every time you exfoliate? If you’re sloughing off with a product from one of the world’s largest personal-care companies, chances are…

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This Common Cosmetic Ingredient May Be More Toxic Than We Thought

Photo by Agberto Guimaraes/Unsplash Butylparaben, a common preservative found in cosmetics and skincare products, could have more severe effects on the body’s endocrine system…

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