Seamstress Blues

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

After reading the "bust" on illegal immigrants working for American Apparel, I was upset. Here is a company who prides themselves on their American Made products while all the while employing illegal immigrants to get the job done. The shear knowledge of their labor force was unsettling to me for 3 few reasons:

A. Employing illegal workers only de-values and contributes to the [already set] low wage movement of workers and production within the crafting industry: carpentry, sewing, sculpting, etc.

B. Illegal immigrant employment does not allow for those who are legal to move forward.

C. Why aren't we spending money to teach sewing or crafting in primary education through home economics classes?

Sewing is dear to my heart and everything involving it's process is sincere. Sewing takes time, it's labor intensive and requires a keen eye. Taking pieces of fabric, cutting to speck and ultimately constructing something flat into form is magical.

I understand that at the end of the day a business has to make money. This is America and capitalism is the game. But at what cost and exploitation? If continually employing illegal immigrants becomes the standard, then we are only moving backwards.

I'm proud to note that our little company has legal workers. We are few but hope to be many. And while our business goals may be capitalist in nature, we are not in the market of exploitation.  Let us sew like the wind and build a thriving sewing circle to match!



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