Fashion, fashion, fashion

Der folgende Beitrag stammt von Nina Subramaniam, einer Schülerin des Englisch LKs der Jahrgangsstufe 13. Sie hat sich intensiv mit der Frage des unbedarften Konsums unserer Wohlstandsgesellschaft auseinandergesetzt. In eindrucksvoller Weise schildert sie, wie es überhaupt sein kann, dass hierzulande Kleidung so günstig verkauft wird: 
nämlich auf Kosten der Menschen, die diese herstellen. 

Fashion, fashion, fashion

Teenagers are obsessed with fashion. Clothes should be as cheap as possible. While a cheap price and the latest fashion have priority, the question where the clothes come from, is left behind. Of course, the label shows where the clothes come from but not how they were produced. And the questions 'how?' and 'where?' should be highlighted. 

Therefore, the example of the treatment of EPZ (Export Processing Zone) companies in Kenya is very convenient. These companies take advantage of poor people who are compelled to produce masses of clothes for the international market. They do not have other possibilities to earn money due to the poor economic situation in their country.

Unfortunately, these people are so poor that they work for a pathetic wage of US $1.90-$2.20 per day. Not only do they suffer from the low wage but also from the terrible working conditions like extremely hot temperatures where they have to work. The ventilation is missing which explains that workers collapse or end up being ill. Another negative aspect is that the workers have to stay until the next morning if their work cannot be finished in time. Pregnancy is not a reason to define down the inhuman working conditions. Thus, safety precautions like maternity leave are missing completely. Whereupon we in Germany think maternity leave is self-evident. Furthermore, in some cases the superiors force women to have sexual relationships with them. Young women who are dependent on the work, are preferred. The reason why they are preferred is that, in general, they do not complain about the low wage nor the working conditions which are based on exploitation. 

In addition, child labor is not unusual for textile industries. There are about 168 millions of children around the world working for textile industries. The most famous countries for child labor are India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Nepal. In Bangladesh for example 10% of all children have to work. Some of them even combine the work with school. Enduring long working hours with dangerous machines or chemicals is sadly a normal day for the children. 

It is obvious that these conditions are inhuman and we should know that we have contributed to this situation. At the end, it is our big request for more and cheap clothes which leads to this situation. The companies see a good opportunity to sell their products cheap and increase their own profit. They are acting relentlessly regarding the people who produce these clothes.

While we are happy to find a T-shirt for 5€ the people in Kenya and other Third World Countries suffer from low pay, inhuman working conditions, sexual violence and the fact that they have to live in tiny rooms not being able to afford proper meals. 

Now you are probably wondering what you can do. You can stop buying clothes you do not absolutely need! Furthermore, you could take second hand clothes into consideration or inform yourself if the clothes were produced in a convenient way. You can check for example on the Greenpeace website which labels are trustworthy.

Ask yourself if you want to keep continue supporting such cruelty in the world. At the end, we are all humans who deserve equal rights.


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