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[GreenYes] Globalization hits my small home business
Hello-
    To preface, my name is Wendy and I run a small home business making
fabric gift bags.  Most of the sewing is now done by women in my
neighborhood.  They work in their own homes, as their family life
allows, and I pay them approx. $10.00 an hour - because after sewing the
bags myself for 2 years - that's the minimum I'd consider paying someone
to do that tedius, repetitive work.
    So today I got a worrisome package in the mail. It was a set of
wholesale sample gift bags from a silk mill in India.  The sewing and
design is sound.  The fabrics are beautiful.  The problem is that the
wholesale cost is less than what I pay for labor per piece.
    My gut instinct tells me that the women that made these aren't
getting what they deserve.  After what I've read about sweat shop labor
- especially in the textile industry - I wonder about the working
conditions.
    Is there anyway I can check into the mill.  There must be sweat shop
watch organizations?
    And even with that information, the question becomes how can I
possibly compete - and would the extra cost to the consumer ultimately
be worth it?
    ---Bummed Out in Colorado

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