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A Consumer's Dilemma

It is impossible for shoppers to know the conditions under which their garments were made. Certain types of clothing, such as sportswear, are more often produced in sweatshops than other classes of apparel, such as suits. But every type of garment has been made in sweatshops.

There is no agreement as to the amount of garments sold in the United States today that are produced in sweatshops. Some people estimate that more than 75% of production could be considered sweatshop-produced. Others suggest the actual occurrence of sweatshops represents an insignificant portion of the industry. These estimates vary depending on the perspectives and agendas of those involved.

Today, concerned consumers need to rely on the reputation and statements of manufacturers and retailers to help them assess the origins of their garments.

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