An important reference that I will be using for my paper is a piece from the Journal of Economic Geography. It discusses global sourcing within the fashion industry with a focus on Zara the fast fashion retailer. It discusses how the fashion industry has changed over the years. In the recent past, fast fashion has transformed the whole fashion industry. It used to be that the haute couture and ready-to-wear designers dictated everything in the fashion industry because they were the most prestigious. Today, people’s wants and needs have changed and they want things faster and at the lowest possible price.
Fast fashion companies such as Zara beat out ready-to-wear designers and haute couture designers in terms of price, speed, and accessibility. Zara has the ability to move new merchandise into stores every two weeks, which means that there is extreme pressure on manufacturers. The nature of the fast fashion industry is very competitive and fast-paced. As a result, garment factories can be a high risk environment when management looks the other way with safety in order to meet a deadline. Fast fashion brands such as Zara are willing to look the other way as well because it helps their bottom line. They pay such minimal wages and exploit these workers but excuse this by thinking that its better than the alternative in their country. All of this gets overlooked though because they gained a reputation for being the exception in fast fashion. Initially this was true but the company has evolved and now outsources a large portion of their production. Their desire to be the most efficient fast fashion brand creates a lot of pressure and risk for their supply chain which has the ability to result in tragedy.
I think that this piece is most likely not biased since it is not written by the company or by a group that is involved in organization that is opposed to the way Zara conducts its business. This piece will prove to be very useful as I address the problems within the fast fashion because they are not monitored on a global scale. When we see tragedies or problems in a country, organizations step in to reform the industry as it affects that country. But then companies such as Zara find new countries to exploit and produce their clothing in. This piece on Zara gives concrete examples that I can reference in my paper.