My favourite t-shirt cost a mere £3. I bought it from Primark, a value UK clothing chain who sell every garment imaginable, from fuzzy pajama bottoms to cut price evening dresses. Unsurprisingly, they have been touted as one of the most popular and cheapest fashion stores..
And guess what, they have also been voted as most unethical.
Flicking through the TV guide, I spotted a documentary titled ‘The Devil Wears Primark” showing that very night. I felt it was time to face up to the not-so-pretty side of my bargains. As I fine tuned the aerial and settled down, I was puzzled to discover that in the place of a nitty-gritty documentary was a “in a change to the schedule” apology, followed by a generic film.
It didn’t take much detective work to figure out that a company with such high turnover would have been less than happy too let such a documentary go ahead. However it made me angry to think that the truth was, effectively, being hidden from my eyes. Whatever content was in the showing, Primark obviously did not want us to see. Of course, what chance does a television station have against a multi-million pound company with more lawyers than sense? None at all, so it seems.
These people should be ashamed. Ashamed to use money as a weapon, ashamed to turn away from the truth with threats and lawyers, ashamed to be driven by nothing but disgusting amounts of profit. A televised program giving shocked viewers the truth about their £15 coat could easily make them think twice about another purchase. But isn’t that exactly what Primark deserves? Maybe then they would acknowledge the working conditions of those abroad who work tirelessly to receive absolute pennies. Better still, raise the price of my beloved t-shirt by a mere pound, put some profit back to the people who work so hard to help them make their precious money, and perhaps – just maybe – attempt to develop a conscience.
Where do you buy your clothing? How often do you think about the working conditions of those who make your garments? Should Primark have been allowed to stop the airing of a truthful documentary?
[photo courtesty of Burt Herman at daylife.com]