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QuestionApart from the sweatshop workers, who benefits the least from globalisation in the fashion industry?
AnswerThe fashion industry is one of the prime examples used to show how globalisation has created significant effects for both business and consumers alike. It is also often used as an example of the negative effects of globalisation. While lower prices and greater choice are a boon to consumers, concern has been raised over the working conditions and pay of staff in developing countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Vietnam and China, among others. The other significant negative effect of globalisation is seen at the other end of the trade line – in the importing country. The UK used to have a significant and world leading textiles industry, being the original creator of mechanised textile mills and the first factories (Griffin, 2010). However, having lost its technological advantage and being a high cost market to produce in, most textile and clothing production has moved to countries with developing economies and high populations, where wages are low. This has led to the closure of many clothing manufacturers in Britain and other developed economies, particularly those previously competing at the low cost end of the market. Thus a negative effect of globalisation is the damage to domestic industry and in particular to those employees who were specialised in that industry. As the industry declines the jobs lost are not replaced by comparable work, as would be the case in companies closing due to domestic competition. Specialised workers will need to retrain in order to find jobs, and this is a particular issue for clothing and textile workers as the skills required, such as in machining and dying, are quite specific and not easily transferable to other industries. For the UK textile industry: “between 1979 and 2013… employee jobs fell by 90.1%, from 851,000 to 85,000” (ONS, 2014).
ReferencesGriffin, E. 2010, A Short History of the British Industrial Revolution, Palgrave, London ONS (Office for National Statistics), 2014, Textile industry average wage lowest within UK manufacturing (online), Available: [http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160105160709/http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/uncategorised/summary/changing-shape-of-uk-manufacturing---textiles/sty---textile-industry-average-wage-lowest-within-uk-manufacturing.html] accessed 11/06/16
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