Should Luxury Brands Care?

30-Day Challenge – Day 4

Yesterday, I watched a documentary describing the tumultuous experience of workers in the garment manufacturing industry, as they campaigned for better wages and working conditions. Titled Made in LA, the documentary follows “three Latina immigrants working in Los Angeles garment sweatshops as they embark on a three-year odyssey to win basic labor protections from a trendy clothing retailer” (http://www.madeinla.com). 

While putting aside my political and economic views on the subject of immigration, my mind focused on the theme of responsible business – that is doing business the right way and ensuring that all who partake in commercial activities receive benefits (economic and otherwise) that are in line with their inputs. As this concept continued to stir in my head, I had a moment of pure enlightenment. Rather, it was an unanswered question: do brands (luxury brands in particular) care about the things I care about, specifically responsible business?

As the son of a diplomat, I’ve grown up an advocate of all things fine, unique and exclusive. If you think, I grew up with a silver spoon, then think again. My taste and refinement came as a result of the people and cultures, to which I was exposed. I was raised to understand that anything considered unique, exclusive, rare, and pleasurable had a right to be deemed luxurious. More importantly, I learned about the relativity of luxury – what might be luxury for me may be a staple for you. In third world countries, where ample food and water are especially rare and exclusive to the rich, wouldn’t they be considered luxury items.

So you might ask how does this all relate to a blog about an industry focused on goods that some will say are inaccessible to much of the world’s population? At this point I don’t know, but I intend to find out a little more in the coming posts.

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