The high cost of cheap clothing continues to fall on factory workers video

Clothing

Workers in poor countries are being exploited to make the clothes we wear. But consumer demand is such that one already-cut-price brand, Kmart, has promised to reduce its prices by a fifth by moving its offshore production to cheaper factories. Rachel Clayton and Susan Edmunds investigate.

Mum-of-two Rachel O’Gorman stops into her local Kmart about once a week. “I could close my eyes and tell you where everything is,” she says.

“I really like the range of products they have. I can go to Kmart for just about anything.

“I know a child’s dress is going to be $17, onesies are $9. If you go to The Warehouse or Farmers sometimes they have specials and sometimes they don’t, but I kind of know the prices at Kmart.”

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Consumer demand for cheaper products has led to Kmart promising to cut its prices by a fifth.

PAUL JONES

Consumer demand for cheaper products has led to Kmart promising to cut its prices by a fifth.

Another shopper, Nikisha Lekasa, says she often goes in for one item and comes out with a trolley full. “It’s like a one-stop shop for me.”

Kmart played to the wallets of shoppers like O’Gorman and Lekasa when it announced its move to a factory in West Java, Indonesia, will cut the cost of 320 items on its shelves by 20 per cent.

The savings, according to Kmart boss Ian Bailey speaking on Australia’s A Current Affair program, will come from reduced shipping costs and cheaper production from the new mega-factory.

Rachel O'Gorman is a Kmart devotee but worries about where the stock is made.

SUPPLIED

Rachel O’Gorman is a Kmart devotee but worries about where the stock is made.

“It’s not the cheapest labour in the world, but what they do have is production on a huge scale,” he says.

A $10 T-shirt will drop to $8 by August.

O’Gorman was sceptical of the move and said she worried about who was making the clothes on Kmart’s racks.

“I’ve been following the media. I know they say that they are using good factories and things and [workers] were going to work for at least the minimum wage but I sometimes worry that it looks good on paper but when you think about it, it might not be that good. What is the minimum wage there?”

[Source”indianexpress”]