Fashion Killaz


Project Statement

Our group explored labor exploitation by focusing on woman-power on a local-global scale in the fashion/clothing industry. We explored a few different countries such as China, Bangladesh, and India to discover not only the internal problem of women's labor exploitation in the textile factories but also the influence of fashion itself. We connected the countries to estimate how similar the working conditions are and the nationalities that make up the thousands of employees. We also looked into cultural appropriation and variance among the clothing itself and fashion exploitation.

We look into working conditions and treatment of the factory workers. Where some women get designer clothes and the luxury to pick and choose an outfit on a daily basis, other women are often unkempt, in rags, or clothes they made themselves from whatever material was available to them and make every thread that goes into creating each person's own individual style beyond low compensation or unthinkable living conditions. We also relate these issues back to the U.S. We look at the big piece of the puzzle. Where other countries try to be westernized and wear American clothing, ironically the U.S. wants those countries' style and textile patterns.  This can be seen in the expansive “tribal” print trend that can be seen on 75% of most clothing designs. We also connect the U.S. through the most obvious marker: we purchase all of our products from these countries, and what is ironic is that when they are on the market to make large profits, these countries buy them back to be “American” and fashionable.

Our fashion show will illustrate what we believe a factory worker to look like and will also be shown for the purpose of displaying who in fact makes every article of clothing you presently have on and possess; all of the jeans you tear and shirts you cut up to make look cool came from a woman or child already shedding blood, sweat, and yes, even tears to make something she had probably hoped already looked that cool. We will also show in each runway look where exactly each item was made. Our aim is to showcase the irony of our fashion and just how much of a powerhouse these factory women really are.

Scenes from Fashion Show

Fashion Killaz poster

Annotated Bibliography

Blackburn, Bradley. Clothing ‘Made in America': Should U.S. Manufacture More Clothes . 2011

This web page is about an experiment attempted to prove the point that the majority of the clothes we use in the United States are made from a globe load of countries other than our own USA. This article also makes the observation that China is by far the leading clothing leader ‘with whole towns dedicated to manufacturing specific goods. With this article we will attempt to open up the discussion that the United States could possibly make more of their own clothes using their own people.

Chon, Gina. "Dropped Stitches."  Asiaweek  26 .50 (2000): 30.  Academic Search Complete . Web.

28 Apr. 2014. The article is about how Gap and Nike exploit workers in Asia, specifically in Cambodia, to creating their products. The article talks about the benefits that these companies receive as well as how it exploits people from these countries, especially when it comes to child labor. We can use this periodical to show some of the ways in whichissues like these are being shown for what they really are, unlawful labor against humans.

Ehrenreich, Barbara, and Annette Fuentes. 2002 (1981). Life on the Assembly Line. Ms. (Spring): 45-48.

In the US an assembly-line worker can make between $3.10 to $5.00 an hour, meanwhile workers from third world countries make about $2 a day . With facts like these we plan to use this article as one of our main globalization argument and women rights concerning third world female industrial workers. This article also discusses the institutionalized aspects of how governments make little profits from cheap labor, but instead use their citizens' real life struggles as a way of better and more efficient advertising.

Ghosh, Jayati. 2001. Globalisation, Export-Oriented Employment For Women and Social Policy: A Case Study of India. United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD).

This article speaks of women workers and export production in Asia. It also speaks of women's employment in the Indian manufacturing sector, including in export employment. It speaks of how women workers are preferred by employers in export activities primarily because of the inferior conditions of work and pay that they were usually willing to accept.

Ho, Laura, Catherine Powell, and Leti Volpp, (Dis)Assembling Rights of Women Workers Along the Global Assembly Line: Human Rights and the Garment Industry, 31 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev 383 (1996).

This article examines the challenges garment workers in the United States face in asserting their rights in the global economy and investigates how transnational advocacy can be deployed to compensate for the inability of U.S. labor laws to respond to problems with international dimensions. We will be using this article to provide empirical information about the rights the women garment workers are demanding as part of their human rights.

Moshenburg, Daniel. “Sweating Modernity: Women Workers in Textile and Textual Industry,” Rethinking Marxism: A Journal of Economics, Culture & Society. 2002. Vol. 14, No. 4.

This article focuses a lot on the topic of modernity and how it is represented in the Capitalistic society. The article speaks a lot on Marxism, and how both go hand in hand when discussing the way women workers are treated in textile companies. One of the main arguments of this article is that modernization translates, or reads as, modernity-zation.

Powell, Benjamin W., and David B. Skarbek. “Third World Work in the Apparel Industry: No Sweat?” East Valley Tribune, and Scottsdale Tribune (AZ), (2005) . Web. 28 Apr. 2014.

This article concerns the issues of sweatshop workers and their well-being. According to the article, some sweatshops in third world countries are actually the better job to have, because any worst than that and people could end up shuffling through the trash for food and clothes, prostituting for money, or even starving to death. The research for this article ask the question of whether or not these workers in the third world countries are actually being taken cared of, especially working for about $13 a day while the majority of the country is dirt poor.

“Sweatshops in Bangladesh”

In Bangladesh women sweatshop workers earn little more than minimum wage, the National Garment Workers' Federation (NGWF) has been fighting for the rights of garment workers in Bangladesh since 1984. We could use this link as a digital example for others fighting a cause.