Sweatshop Hall of Shame 2008

Publication Date: 

December 1, 2007


ILRF, Sweatshop Watch, and SweatFree Communities

For the past three years, a group of labor rights and human rights organizations in the United States have published the Shop with a Conscience Consumer Guide – a list of “sweatfree” options for the growing number of consumers who would like to purchase

clothing made under ethical conditions.

This year, as a counterpoint to the Shop with a Conscience Guide, SweatFree Communities, Sweatshop Watch, and International Labor Rights Forum have launched the Sweatshop Hall of Shame featuring apparel companies that have consistently flouted labor laws and basic worker protections. Most, if not all, of the companies listed in this

year’s Hall of Shame pay workers poverty wages for long, hard hours of work under appalling conditions. Nearly all have used unjust if not illegal tactics to squash workers’ basic right to organize.

Consumers must demand an end to a production system that sacrifices

workers in the name of cheap consumer goods. Companies must finally address the root causes of sweatshops, child labor, and the gross inequalities across the apparel industry, fundamentally changing the purchasing practices that give rise to worker abuse in the first

place. A decade of writing “codes of conduct” and conducting tens of thousands of audits in thousands of factories across the globe has not eradicated sweatshops. Indeed, in the apparel industry sweatshops are still the norm rather than the exception.

The working conditions we highlight in the Hall of Shame exemplify the types of violations that are rampant within the apparel industry, as well as other labor-intensive industries such as laundries and toys.