conditions are now open to scrutiny and potential loss of brand image. As a result, domestic policies around labourconditions reflect foreign anxieties as well as local pressures. Embarrassment at low rankings in international standards measures can also expedite policy change. Cases of poor quality in food imports and foreign restaurant chains are also publicised in China as a way of ‘measuring’ the progress made under the strict new laws and regulations.
The need for the Party-State to be seen to protect its citizens from the cyclical economic patterns that have
, press all the right environmental buttons. 18
9.3 In 2015 Prince Charles visited the mill as part of his ongoing work with The Campaign for Wool. Courtesy of Abraham Moon and Sons.
Besides ecological matters, concerns over labourconditions in Asian factories have furthered the wool renaissance. Consumer awareness of third-world sweatshops increased after the widespread press coverage of two tragedies in the Bangladeshi garment industry—the fire at the Tazreen Fashions factory in November 2012 and the collapse of the Rana Plaza
Sarah Marie Hall, Laura Pottinger, Megan Blake, Susanna Mills, Christian Reynolds, and Wendy Wrieden
through a series of production and consumption practices has been of intense interest to social scientists, particularly for how it intersects with ideas about workers’ rights and labourconditions, waste and resource use, and the cultural place of consumer goods in everyday life. Here, the commodity is depicted as having a ‘lifespan’ or a ‘life history’ (Appadurai, 1986 ; Cook et al . , 2004 ; Cook, Crang and Thorpe, 2004 ), stretching from the processes of production onwards.
This progression of food as material, from raw product to disposal (as the product
the market to lower prices, as well as fierce competition among garment makers, resulted in low wages and difficult labourconditions, especially in workshops that produced goods for the lower end of the market. In the early twentieth century, some eighty per cent of garments produced in the United States were manufactured in New York City, and the rest were made in industrial cities such as Philadelphia, Chicago, and Rochester, New York. 30 Garment makers could start a workshop with a small amount of capital, often benefiting from extensive kinship networks in the
have become moral on behalf of their owners. Just by displaying one’s ownership of an ethical commercial object, people can display their morality and even delegate their morality to the object, and at the same time become relieved from the moral pressures and insecurities they may face in everyday life. 13 In particular, the ‘ethical sell’ is designed to make people feel good about themselves by publicly displaying their concerns for the environment or fair labourconditions, thus showing to the world not only their cultural capital but also their morality and
regard to this early time, then, star studies should free itself from an exclusive focus on film texts themselves so as to incorporate analysis of the star’s extension across other elements of the commodity world.
The commercial exploitability of the star has increased exponentially in subsequent decades. From the 1950s onwards, however, Hollywood has also witnessed the star’s relative autonomy compared with the cramped labourconditions of the classical era. The collapse of the studio system under economic and legislative pressures discussed in Chapter 9
more of these issues in Chapter 9 .
We can see unpaid work as an important element of what makes an occupation precarious. Guy Standing is perhaps the most prominent theorist who has tried to define this idea. 13
Standing suggests precariousness is characterised by unstable labourconditions, a lack of occupational narrative, high levels of unremunerated work (including work preparation and retraining), high levels of education relative to the job, low levels of non-wage benefits such as holiday or sickness pay, high levels of debt and associated financial