A Huge Underclass Of Ghost Workers Are Making Your Shirts In Their Homes

by MR Magazine Staff

The next time you buy a piece of mass-produced clothing, check to see if it’s got any details that look like they were done by hand. Those might include elaborate embroidery, painstakingly attached sequins, or buttonholes carefully stitched by a person rather than a machine. If so, there’s a good chance the garment was quite literally made, at least in part, in somebody’s house—and most likely by a woman who was paid a pittance.

In the garment industry, while only being a fraction of the total workforce, they are probably making goods for many local and international fashion brands, both large and small. In India, of an estimated 12.5 million homeworkers, more than 3.5 million are likely part of the supply chains for these brands, according to WIEGO, an organization dedicated to studying and advocating for informal workers, and the most authoritative source on the topic. Read more at Quartz.