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AMSTERDAM – An in-depth investigation has highlighted the huge price pressure being exerted on suppliers by global apparel brands – and its direct implications for factory workers. Researchers traced a Zara hoodie from its ‘Join Life’ collection – Inditex’s flagship ‘sustainability’ line – right through its Turkish supply chain. They found that after middlemen had taken their cut, the factory that produced the ironically named ‘Respect’ hoodie was only paid €1.53 euros per unit for the 20,000 unit order. Researchers calculated Inditex makes €4.20 euros per hoodie, around double all the people involved its production (€2.08 euros), from the cotton fields in India, to the spinning mill in Kayseri in central Turkey, to the factories in Izmir.

“To make ends meet, factory owners are [subsequently] forced to pay their staff less than they should, or to make them work more,” claim researchers from Public Eye, the Swiss arm of Clean Clothes campaign.

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