A recent WSJ piece highlights why current approach to social risk in fashion is not the right answer:
The company regularly keeps many of its 4,500 workers late—sometimes until 5 a.m.—to meet production targets set by retailers like Gap, VF Corp.and Tommy Hilfiger. The workers themselves sometimes welcome the extra pay, but the practice apparently conflicts with the retailers’ stated policies and a Bangladeshi law that prohibits more than 10 hours of work a day, including two hours of overtime.
The late hours at the Next Collections factory show the challenge retailers face in trying to police supply chains that can run to hundreds of factories in several countries. It also makes clear that recent pledges by retailers to crack down on poor working conditions in the wake of multiple deadly disasters in Bangladesh’s textile industry won’t amount to much without careful follow-up to monitor compliance.
This is a problem that can be fixed with the right economic solution, but it won’t get better with the current half-hearted approach.