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Re: [GreenYes] Globalization hits my small home business
Dear Wendy:

An organization called Sweatshop Watch
(http://www.sweatshopwatch.org/swatch/index.html) may be helpful to you
regarding the issue of whether you are competing against overseas-based
seatshop operations.  Another international labor information resource you
may want to check out is the UN's International Labor Organization
(http://www.ilo.org). Finally, you may wish to consult with your local small
business development center - since I don't know where you are located I
have provided a SBDC directory for you to consult -
http://www.asbdc-us.org/local.html

Sincerely,

Roger M. Guttentag
610-584-8836
rgutten@concentric.net

----- Original Message -----
From: Wendy Oldenbrook <giftbags@ecentral.com>
To: <greenyes@grrn.org>
Sent: Thursday, March 28, 2002 8:11 PM
Subject: [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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