Field Research

Our Field Research page will serve as a database for research conducted to support our current campaigns.  Currently, we are preparing documents that outline the product variety and country of origin for a wide sampling of products from one of the nations largest retailers.  The aim of this data collection is to show that the vast majority of product has its origination either in a sweatshop or within a country who’s human/worker rights campaigns are abysmal. 

With this data, the company in question will not be able to deny the country of origin of their products, nor will they be able to say they have no control over the origin of such products or the conditions within which these laborers are forced to work. 

The Youth Labor Committee has begun field research!  We have focused our research at Woodfield mall in Schaumburg, Illinois.  This is the largest mall in the Chicago area with 1.9 million square feet of retail floor.  The YLC believes the most elaborate and accurate data can be produced from this location.

We began our journey at Sears.  By simply stepping into the Men’s clothing section, we uncovered many different manufacturing locations around the world.

 

We would begin our research by recording the brand name and style.  We would then find the tag, usually found inside the collar of the shirts, or on the in-seams of pants, and record the country of origin.  We then counted each style or color that was manufactured in a specific country.  Each set of data would be separated by table or rack.  For example:

 

Brand: Covington

Style: Fitted Performance

Dress Shirts

Manufacturing Location:

9-Bangladesh

“9-Bangladesh” means that there were nine different styles on this specific table, all manufactured in Bangladesh

After collecting the data, we inserted it into an excel document.

This is only a piece of the large amount of data we have collected.  In the top row you can see the total amount of styles and brands that were manufactured in specific countries.  We included the Brand, Item Type (Style), Price, and country of origin.

We are continuing field research at Woodfield Mall and other locations.  By uncovering the data for ourselves, the reality of sweatshop labor presents itself.  It is disgusting seeing a product produced in a country like Bangladesh, where we have evidence of sweatshop labor and maltreatment of its workers.  We ask ourselves, how many of these items had to be thrown out because it wasn’t cut correctly because a worker was coming to the end of their 24 hour shift?

We are calling out to students of America to research your local malls and even your favorite clothing store.  Check where your products are produced and understand the reality of sweatshops. 

Current Field Research campaign conducted at local Sears locations:

Sears Data  –this is our first data set, is an excel spreadsheet, and consists of roughly a quarter of the men’s department at Sears in Woodfield Mall, in Schaumburg IL.  This data set shows the label, retail price, and country of origin for over 500 products, and presents a startling observation of the reliance on countries (China, Bangladesh, etc) that allow, and often, encourage deplorable working conditions while at the same time forbidding any discussion on human rights.  We are actively engaged in continued research within multiple stores and will post more information as we compile it.