More

John Oliver digs into the low-cost, child labor hypocrisy in the fashion industry.

On the latest episode of "Last Week Tonight," John Oliver takes a look at the fashion industry's repeated promises to stop using child labor.

John Oliver digs into the low-cost, child labor hypocrisy in the fashion industry.


On "Last Week Tonight," John Oliver took a look at the long history of child labor in the fashion industry.

The use of sweatshops and child labor in clothes manufacturing has long been out of style.

As illustrated in this political cartoon from 1870, it's been associated with nasty, dehumanizing working conditions, health risks, and exploitation.


Je suis 19th century political commentary.

It's a modern problem made worse by plunging prices in the fashion industry.

Sure, companies do what they can to say they're against the use of child labor, but the current deal-driven state of the fashion industry makes it so there's really no alternative.

I mean, how else do you think the $15 dress came into existence?

It used to be that the use of child labor was enough to really rattle a company. Take for example, Kathie Lee Gifford.

In the mid-'90s, it came out that Gifford's clothing line was being produced in Honduras by 13- and 14-year-olds.

As one might expect, Kathie Lee became the target of protests.

She even testified on the issue in front of Congress.

Within a couple of years, Gifford was out the door at "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee," and was never heard from again...

So long!

...unless you count the millions of people who tune in to see her on "Today."

Ah, yeah that. Okay, so maybe the sweatshop scandal didn't destroy her career after all.

In fact, on "Today" she's done segments showcasing companies that have taken heat for child labor practices.

See? It all comes full circle.

On "Last Week Tonight," host John Oliver skewered the fashion industry for failing to live up to promises that they'd avoid sweatshop labor.

Take Gap, for example.

In 1995, it came out that Gap was using child labor to manufacture their clothes.

They promised to make changes.


In 2000, they had a similar situation in Cambodia, and yes, they promised to fix the problem.

And in 2007, they were hit with yet another child labor scandal, and yes, again, they promised to make changes.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, and it's pretty clear we're willing to accept child labor so long as it results in affordable fashion.

There are still lots of people ready to push back on companies that use child labor, but most of us seem content to sit on the sidelines and rake in the deals.

Some people take their demands to the streets.

And protest by becoming human billboards.

But most of us?

Companies need to be held accountable. It's no longer acceptable for them to just claim ignorance on the issue.

If you're a company like Gap, Forever 21, or H&M, and you don't know exactly which factory is producing your clothes, it's probably bad news.

If it seems to good to be true, it probably is — this goes double for $4 T-shirts, $12 blazers, and other deals.

The best thing you can do as a consumer is stay up to date on which companies are using child labor, and when you find one that does, take your business elsewhere.

True

When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

This article originally appeared on 12.02.19


Just imagine being an 11-year-old boy who's been shuffled through the foster care system. No forever home. No forever family. No idea where you'll be living or who will take care of you in the near future.

Then, a loving couple takes you under their care and chooses to love you forever.

What could one be more thankful for?

That's why when a fifth grader at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills, Utah was asked by his substitute teacher what he's thankful for this Thanksgiving, he said finally being adopted by his two dads.

via OD Action / Twitter

To the child's shock, the teacher replied, "that's nothing to be thankful for," and then went on a rant in front of 30 students saying that "two men living together is a sin" and "homosexuality is wrong."

While the boy sat there embarrassed, three girls in the class stood up for him by walking out of the room to tell the principal. Shortly after, the substitute was then escorted out of the building.

While on her way out she scolded the boy, saying it was his fault she was removed.

RELATED: A gay couple's pride flag helped give a young teen the courage to come out to their family

One of the boy's parents-to-be is Louis van Amstel, is a former dancer on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." "It's absolutely ridiculous and horrible what she did," he told The Salt Lake Tribune. "We were livid. It's 2019 and this is a public school."

The boy told his parents-to-be he didn't speak up in the classroom because their final adoption hearing is December 19 and he didn't want to do anything that would interfere.

He had already been through two failed adoptions and didn't want it to happen again.

via Loren Javier / Flickr

A spokesperson for the Alpine School District didn't go into detail about the situation but praised the students who spoke out.

"Fellow students saw a need, and they were able to offer support," David Stephenson said. "It's awesome what happened as far as those girls coming forward."

RELATED: A homophobic ad was placed next to a pizza shop. They messed with the wrong place.

He also said that "appropriate action has been taken" with the substitute teacher.

"We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate behavior and take these matters very seriously," Kelly Services, the school the contracts out substitute teachers for the district, said in a statement. "We conduct business based on the highest standards of integrity, quality, and professional excellence. We're looking into this situation."

After the incident made the news, the soon-to-be adoptive parents' home was covered in paper hearts that said, "We love you" and "We support you."

Religion is supposed to make us better people.

But what have here is clearly a situation where a woman's judgement about what is good and right was clouded by bigoted dogma. She was more bothered by the idea of two men loving each other than the act of pure love they committed when choosing to adopt a child.