A sweatshop does not have just one definition, though the U.S. Department of Labor defines it as “a factory that violates two or more labor laws.”
This definition can pertain to things such as child labor or working hours. The clothes we wear as the latest fashion trend are often made in horrible places. We turn a blind eye and ignore the harsh realities and terrible working conditions in which these workers exist.
We forget that every piece of clothing was made by someone. As children, we did not realize that another child far away from us developed the t-shirt we wore to school or the pajamas we wore to bed. All we knew was that it was picked out of the drawer by Mom and laid out on our beds in the morning and at night. From that link:
Child labour is a part of the first stages of industrialization. We did it, the UK did it, China did it, every country that has industrialized ever has used child labour at some point.
According to this, “1 in 6 children between the ages of 5 to 14 years old are still in some form of child labor in developing countries.” It is unfathomable to think that children as young as 5 are working long hours for little to no any pay at all.
When I was five I was playing with blocks and coloring in books in kindergarten.
So why do we choose to ignore this horrible truth? Hard to say, since consumers want to feel ethical. According to that link:
They want to feel that they are being ethical. But they don’t want to pay more. They are prepared to believe in the brands they love. Companies know this. They know that if they make the right noises about behaving ethically, their customers will turn a blind eye.
We take companies at their word even though we should know better. How long will it take for the world to wake up, and instead of walking past the bully. How long will it take for us to intervene and stick up for the little kid in the locker.