The anti-sweatshop movement

The anti-sweatshop movement refers to a movement in the 1990s, which aimed to expose labour rights violations in the clothing and footwear industry. It involved various demographics and organisations, including religious groups, students, human rights organisations, and activist networks, largely in the North.  While previous movements defending labour rights were focused on the actions of governments, this movement primarily targeted clothing companies by publicly exposing their involvement with exploitation (Bartley & Child, 2014). By associating the actions of brands to working conditions within their supply chain, this emphasised the complicity of Northern brands in the exploitation of workers, including Nike, Wal-Mart and Gap (Bartley & Child, 2011). In response to the movement, corporations swiftly introduced corporate social responsibility (CSR) methods, which spread across the apparel industry (see Corporate Social Responsibility for a definition)


Bartley, T. and Child, C. (2014). Shaming the corporation: The social production of targets and the anti-sweatshop movement. American Sociological Review, 79(4), pp.653-679.(can send this to ppl if u want)

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