Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sweatshop Prevention and Abolishment

When one thinks of sweatshops they normally think of places such as China, India, and Hati. While there are many sweatshops in those countries, people are unaware that there are some here in America. In New York the Department of Labor has found 80 sweatshops, and in California 90. I don’t know about you, but I was completely shocked when I heard this. America is suppose to be free, yet regulated by laws. Most Americans couldn’t imagine a thing like this going on in their own country.

Well known companies such as K-Mart, Walt Disney, and Levi’s have all purchased items that have been produced in sweatshops. The Department of Labor estimates that over half of the sewing factories in the United States are paying below the minimum wage. It is also estimated that in the United States the average wage in a sweat shop is $0.60 per hour. This is compared to Hati who’s average wage in a sweatshop is $0.30 per hour, we are not that far behind. We as American citizens need to take a stance against sweatshops here in the United States. We also need to take a stance against purchasing items that have been produced in sweatshops in other countries.

Some U.S. companies have decided to join this stance in order to help stop sweatshop production in other countries. Levi’s will not do business with factories that violate employees’ human rights. The Gap has signed an agreement to monitor factory conditions in El Salvador. One may ask why people from other countries would work under these horrible conditions. Well first off, these individuals need to support their families, but also some sweatshops offer workers some advantages. For example, In Malaysia women can work in the Motorola factory for $300.00 a month verses the rice field which is $100.00 a month. While that is still very low, it’s triple what these women would be making in the rice field.

In conclusion, I think we should take more precautions in closing sweat shops here in the United States, but also stop buying products from sweatshops in other countries.

Some information and picture from

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Milan Fashion Week, Art or Usiability?

Milan fashion week is known for its artistic views and lack of actual usability. However, in the spring 2009 collection many designers took an alternate route, and made their clothes more wearable than usual. Although, these collections were more wearable than usual, they still had a very artistic element to them.

I loved the Versace collection, Donatella decided to go toward a young and sweet direction. She played with heart shapes, and structure. The collection was much more wearable then her fall 2008. Although it was more wearable, she did not lack craftsmanship. People go to Milan to see high fashion, to see pieces of art and the Versace collection did not disappoint them. Donatella obviously put a lot of thought into her collection. Her clothes illuminated expertise and were filled with soul.

Some popular trends at the Milan shows were transparency and pale color schemes. Although a transparent dress may seem very un wearable on the runway, if paired with some practical pieces it too can become practical. Karl Lagerfeld seemed to understand this balance between art and usability with the Fendi Spring 2009 collection. Lagerfeld displayed his artistic ability by creating a very modern collection. Sarah Mower from praised Lagerfeld “he cleverly dispensed broderie anglaise, tablecloth lace, and laser cutouts as he went along.” I thought that many of the pieces from Fendi seemed very imaginative but paired with the right pieces could become extremely wearable.

I think that fashion should be a perfect balance between art and usability. I thought that the Milan spring 2009 collection displayed a great balance between the two. Designers such as Donatella Versace, Karl Lagerfeld, Alessandro Dell'Aqua, and Giorgio Armani all understood and displayed this balance. I thought that Milan had just as much usability as Paris. Milan should now be known for what fashion should really be.
Picture Top Center: Versace RTW Spring 2009