NEW YORK -- In what it called evidence that monitoring foreign factories can help improve working conditions, the International Labour Organization said it found "encouraging signs of improvement" in its third round of inspections of Cambodian...
NEW YORK--In what it called evidence that monitoring foreign factories can help improve working conditions, the International Labour Organization said it found "encouraging signs of improvement" in its third round of inspections of Cambodian garment factories.The Geneva-based labor group is monitoring 30 factories in that nation as part of a joint project with the U.S. and Cambodian governments in which Cambodia can be awarded increased U.S. quota rights if working conditions in its industry are found to improve. In turn, Cambodia increases the quota allotted to the factories found to provide the best conditions for workers.Like the previous two quarterly reports, the one released Monday found no evidence of child labor, forced labor or sexual harassment in the 30 factories the ILO inspected.The report noted that inspectors found improvements in factory practices including paying correct wages, insuring that all overtime is voluntary and within legal limits, and protecting freedom of association. However, the report said these areas remained "a problem" for several of the factories inspected. It also noted that strikes continue not to be organized in accordance with Cambodian laws."What's important about this report is that, in every single factory we had gone back to, there was some improvement," Sally Paxton, ILO executive director of social dialog, said in a phone interview. "That doesn't mean there isn't still work to be done."The factories included in the survey had about 21,000 workers, 90 percent of whom were women. Cambodia's total apparel industry includes about 200 factories with 200,000 workers, producing $1.1 billion worth of exported goods last year, according to the Cambodian Development Resource Institute. According to the U.S. Commerce Department, the U.S. imported $952.6 million of apparel and textiles from Cambodia last year, making it the 21st-largest source of those goods.The survey, conducted by ILO-trained inspectors, addressed safety concerns, respect for workers' rights and payroll practices. Many of the problems found were wage-and-hour issues, which are frequent at cost-conscious and often time-pressed apparel contractors around the world.With each survey, the ILO makes recommendations of improvements the factories can make. It then checks up on them in follow-up surveys. This report showed that 18 of the 30 factories had solved less than half the problems brought up in the first two rounds of inspections.Paxton said that's because many of the problems raised, particularly those related to workers' right to organize, are complicated."Some of these things we are finding can be fixed quite simply," she said. "But allowing freedom of association and collective bargaining are harder than making sure that you have clean toilet facilities."She noted that the ILO's overall goal in this project is to educate local employers, unions and government officials about workers' rights so that the industry will be able to operate on its own in a way that respects labor."The ILO can't be in these countries forever," she said. "If unions and employers are doing their jobs...and working together, the need for government intervention should be quite small."Paxton said the program has attracted more U.S. and European apparel firms to the Southeast Asian nation of 12.5 million people, which borders Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. She listed Gap Inc. and Levi Strauss & Co. as companies currently producing in Cambodia.A Gap spokeswoman confirmed the San Francisco-based company is currently buying goods from Cambodian factories. She said projects like the ILO's in Cambodia are valuable for the breadth of companies they affect."Industry-wide reforms is what you're looking for," she said. "What we've found with our own initiatives is what you really want is all factories to be participating in the program."Levi's officials did not return phone calls by press time.She said she hoped the Cambodian governments' interest in promoting workers' rights could be used by the local industry as a marketing tool."It can create for itself a niche market, of `We open our factories to monitoring,"' she said. "Buyers in the U.S. are quite aware of the consumer concerns about the way in which products are produced."Currently, the ILO monitoring project and a related program to set up a system to resolve labor disputes is slated to run at least another year."This is a process, not something that we expect to have done overnight," Paxton said. "One hundred percent compliance, that doesn't exist anywhere. It's a process of the employers understanding that they have to start complying with the law."
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion