Margins, savings, efficiency. Profits.
It's nothing new to human civilization, right?
What's definitely shocking though is how, in 2015, we are still able to close our eyes and overlook human disasters and inhuman practices that simply seem to overweight the value of a human being, an unpleasant reality that has overtaken the fashion industry, much before the tech one.
Two months ago was the two-years "anniversary" of the deadly disaster of the Raza Plaza, which occurred in Bangladesh and led to the death of more than one thousand people. That day, the race for operational efficiency and cost-cutting swept away lives.
It's really hard to fathom how some companies seem to be fine with paying their workers $10 to $13 a week. Yet, the world appears to be living just ok with it.
The sad paradox and reality is that when people have no other choice, they just comply, don't they? In the end this whole situation boils down to a twisted power game where most of us end up trapped as passive spectators unable to do anything about it. That's assuming if our consciousness doesn't completely make us overlook the matter. Mother nature.
Far from me is the thought of being a hypocrite over the matter. I am pretty confident I have never refrained myself from making an apparel purchase while I knew the product was "Imported" - read "probably with high chances of being made under mediocre working conditions like the one mentioned above".
That's actually the very problem.
A few months ago I watched this highly shocking Vice investigation on toxic leather tanning in Bangladesh. It seems there are so many similar truths we are unaware of or just unconsciously overlook.
Will I stop buying items that have been produced in shady conditions? I'm not sure. Will you? Not sure either. We're flooded by goods and companies that cropped up based on outsourcing notably shady one. It's certainly hard to have the moral compass to do anything about it. The paradox of knowing that many people out there have no choice but to work "as it is" doesn't make it any easier.
What's sure is that there will come a day where the outsourcing model will no longer be as attractive for profits-hungry companies as the gap between developed/developing/emerging countries will shrink. What will they do then?
For what it's worth, rest assured that at KANZEK we're doing our utmost to be cool responsible non-evil guys. Our bags are produced in our own workshop in Marrakech by experienced craftsmen who are paid 100% to 400% higher than the minimal legal wage. We visited the tannery from which we do our leather sourcing, we're actually almost neighbors with them and everything there looks just fine.