What do you think about when you hear “sweatshop”?
A room full of sweat? You’re very near the meaning.
A sweatshop is a factory with very bad, more like inhumane, conditions where workers usually overwork and where they’ve spent usually most of their lives. The people working there may not even get the minimum wage. And they surely don’t get a living wage.
Many workers are females which, by the way, are treated terribly. They also may have barely any time for their kids if they have ones. I’m not talking about an hour a day. I’m talking about a day or two or even less per year. They may even get birth control pills, so kids won’t interfere with their work. Talking about kids, kids also work there.
Sweatshops can be found in countries like China, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and India but also in countries like Italy, UK, USA, Romania, and Turkey. But I must add that in the latter ones, the conditions are still better than in the former ones.
And no, just because sweatshops exist in these countries, that doesn’t mean only sweatshops exist there.
People Tree, for example, works with artisans from developing nations like India and Nepal to make its clothing.
Everybody should work like this (in People Tree’s way), though. But many brands care only about making the biggest profits possible and sweatshops ensure a cheap and fast workforce.
Here is a video related to sweatshops in Bangladesh.
And here are some factsheets about sweatshops in Eastern Europe.