Ghostworkers are Making Your Clothes

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Marc Bain of Quartz writes  on “A huge underclass of ghost workers are making your shirts in their homes.”

Bain says: “People think of manufacturing as something that takes place in factories. But a surprising amount occurs in, or next to, people’s homes. These people are called homeworkers, and research suggests they number far into the tens of millions globally—as many as 30 million may be in China alone, for instance.
In the garment industry, while only being a fraction of the total workforce, they are probably making goods for many local and international fashion brands, both large and small. In India, of an estimated 12.5 million homeworkers, more than 3.5 million are likely part of the supply chains for these brands, according to WIEGO, an organization dedicated to studying and advocating for informal workers, and the most authoritative source on the topic.

Homeworkers are among the lowest-paid members of this workforce, often earning less than even factory workers. And most, not by coincidence, are women. That’s because women are usually responsible for childcare, and in the countries where homeworkers are most prevalent, there are often cultural limitations on women working outside the home.”

Read the full (very eye-opening) article here on Quartz.

Image: venturaartist