“The label ‘Made in Italy’ or ‘Made in the E.U.’ has always suggested quality of workmanship and standards, but if the shoes are designed in the E.U. and then produced in Serbia, Albania, Burma or Indonesia by foreign workers in miserable conditions, or in Italy by contracted third parties who pay wages below the living wage, what’s the added value of the brand ‘Made in the E.U.’ or in Italy?”
That inquiry was launched by the labor rights groups Clean Clothes Campaign and Change Your Shoes — a project of 15 European and three Asian organizations — revealing the true cost of our shoes. A new study by the Centro Nuovo Modello di Sviluppo and FAIR follows the supply chains of three major Italian brands (Tod’s, Geox, Prada), showing how far they still are from respect to human and trade union rights of those who make their-our shoes.
Worldwide, every year about 23 million pairs of shoes are manufactured. Earlier awareness campaigns about the working conditions in which they are assembled, through a supply chain across multiple countries (base product, shoe upper, design, distribution, etc.), had shown us labor-intensive processes subject to rapid delivery times and prices cut to the bone, especially in China, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Indonesia.