Be Happy, Feel Beautiful
Imagine opening a birthday gift and to your surprise it’s the latest Gucci bag you’ve been stalking online for weeks. It’s a dream come true! But at what cost (no, I’m not talking price tags) has Gucci made it one of the best birthdays ever?
Five former employees of Gucci’s store in Shenzhen, China sent a letter to executives of the global brand in September highlighting the ‘sweatshop’-like conditions that these service workers were required to endure. It was later released to the public via Internet, outlining the unjust conditions such as time limits on bathroom use, restrictions on water drinking and unpaid overtime. Some of the allegations even include refusing food to a pregnant woman during a 15-hour workday.
Gucci responded stating that they would investigate the situation thoroughly and later hired external consultants to review the brand’s practices in China’s southern city of Shenzhen. According to FashionWeekDaily.com, the management of the Shanghai outpost has been replaced, the management’s training program has become more rigorous, and Gucci has outlined and highlighted the brand’s core principles.
China is the fastest growing market for high-end fashion and luxury items. These allegations of unacceptable working conditions can significantly harm Gucci’s reputation.
Corporate social responsibility is vital in ensuring that poor working conditions become extinct. As consumers, it is up to us to put pressure on brands to assure their employees safe and fair working conditions. Ultimately, the public eye has been crucial in exposing the hidden truths of corporations’ actions and has helped to raise the standards for working conditions worldwide. Greater transparency of corporations’ actions is not only beneficial, but has become an expectation.
Gucci, we’ll not only be watching you, but our other favorite brands as well. We want to keep fashion fun, so don’t let suffering be an aspect of our favorite outfits!