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Blog 9

I definitely had not heard of the lawsuit brought against Forever 21 before I saw the documentary Made in L.A. I had heard about lawsuits against other stores - such as Kohl's department store, but never about Forever 21. While I was watching the documentary, before seeing that they came to some sort of agreement, I realized that after becoming aware of worker conditions, it would be impossible for me to continue to shop at Forever 21 with the same ignorance I had prior to watching the movie. Even so, shopping at stores such as Forever 21, that offer such low prices for clothing, it had crossed my mind that in order to price their clothes so 'reasonably' there might be some sort of labor abuses being made. But, ignorance is bliss, and I continued to shop there. I think the campaign absolutely could have benefitted from broader publicity. Although I don't know how they would have gone about that. The protesting they did do, especially after they won their appeal did seem more powerful, but maybe they didn't have access to the kind of resources that would allow for a nationally recognized campaign.

I am not sure, however, that the documentary was a totally effective intersectional analysis of the workers lives. While we get some perspective into their personal lives - where they live, how they live, who they live with, it's still very much a camera directed from an outsider's perspective. The people who watch Made in L.A. are likely to be more privileged, and not necessarily regularly exposed to the lives of garment workers in L.A. They didn't address religion very often, which I think would be a very interesting aspect of their lives to incorporate, and perhaps very important. 

In terms of the actual lawsuit, it perhaps would have been beneficial to hear more of the legal side of the garment worker's rights. I was curious as to how California law supports garment workers, even those who are undocumented. I think that's pretty crucial, and something that wasn't really explained in its entirety. However, I think that it was also important for the film to focus its lens on the garment workers themselves- the group that has the smallest voice, and in America, the fewest rights, that actually made the change happen. They are rightly the center of attention.

Overall, I enjoyed watching this documentary, and I was very interested in the Maura, Lupe and Maria's personal stories, which seemed both vital and relevant to the campaign itself. I feel like they embody the American dream - especially as it was paralleled to the lives of garment workers a century or two ago. Working from the inside for real change, and to better their lives, and their children's lives.

blog 9

I was not aware of the boycott against Forever 21.  I think broader publicity would have helped the workers in their campaign.

I think this movie, although brief, provides an intersectional depiction of the campaigners.  However, they could have gone much more in depth into the lives and identities than they actually did.  It would have been interesting to know more about the actual work the workers did - it was covered, but I was interested in finding out more.

I think it would have been interesting to hear from other people besides the garment workers, but I don't think that was the aim of the film.  They could have done a more inclusive documentary, and had people from the companies (Forever 21 and the suppliers) talk about what they knew/didn't know. 

I enjoyed the movie, and it made me think more about labor issues in the United States and why there isn't more enforcement of labor laws.

Movie Blog

Before watching this movie I was unaware of the boycott against Forever 21 by garment workers who were owed thousands of dollars in minimum wage and overtime pay. Since I didn't know about the boycott it didn't have an impact on my shopping, but I really wish it would have reached a broader audience because I feel that if it did, it would have had a bigger impact on Forever 21 and shown them that this isn't something to be taken lightly. I think that this movie was an intersectional depiction of the campaigners in that we saw the hardships they faced gaining momentum because of their lack of funds, knowledge of the system, and language barriers. Executives thought that they could take advantage of these vulnerable immigrants who couldn't speak English, and would take whatever they could get to help support their families. A specific example that stood out to me was a campaigner who didn't want to shout because she was afraid she would say the word Boycott wrong. Little things like that really held them back.

I liked the fact that the campaign was told exclusively in the words of the garment workers, because I feel that their story is the one that needs to be heard. If you were to have had executives from forever 21 speaking in the movie, you would be hearing false stories and excuses to justify what they did.

A question I had after this watching this movie was what settlement they agreed upon, because they don't ever touch on that in the movie. Another thing that bothers me is the fact that all Forever 21 had to do was pay off these workers that they had wronged, and never suffered anymore consequences. Is there a system in place that ensures this issue isn't still happening in their factories?

 

Week 9 Blog

It was very strange to watch this movie because I had not heard of this boycott against Forever 21. I do think that if there was more publicity then more people would have been aware. After seeing this movie it definitely made me rethink my shopping patterns because I tend to buy clothes that don't cost very much. However, when I buy cheaper clothes, the people who make them only get paid a very small fraction of what I paid and the majority of the money goes to executives. This movie mostly focuses on women from Mexico and Central America. I wish we could hear from men who work in this industry, as well as people of other races which would make it more intersectional. I think it would have been interesting to talk to their children more about how these lack of benefits affect their lives. It would have also been interesting to see what the higher-ups at Forever 21 thought of this. 

blog 9

Before viewing made in la/hecho en la I had absolutely no idea that forever 21 had ever been involved in a lawsuit.  I personally shop their quite often and if I had known this information earlier while the lawsuit was actually happen I would not have chosen to shop there.  And I would've made my friends aware of this who shop there as well.  Unfortunately I have never heard of this lawsuit and I feel many people also had not heard of this, I know that if the publicity had gotten larger that more people would've chosen not to shop at forever 21 and help in supporting the workers campaign. 

I think this movie did a pretty good job at intersectionality and I feel like they did a great job of addressing the campaigners personal lives.  I wish I could have seen more of what the sweat shop and clothing making conditions were like, however, I understand that it was hard to get cameras into these rooms.  But I feel like including what their working conditions were like more would have been very informative and disturbing I'm sure. 

I really like how this story had the most impact coming from the garment workers themselves as they are the group suffering the most adverse impact.  The makers of the video attempted to get comments and interviews with the CEO, but like always, he declined so getting this view of the story was impossible.  Maybe they could have included retail workers and if they ever even knew anything about the workers' strike and their opinions on the strike.  This maybe could have supplemented but I feel like the workers stance was the most important to have.  Overall I thought this was a very good documentary, and I was shocked to learn that somewhere I shopped had been involved in a lawsuit such as this.  It made me realize that I should research companies before I give them my money and chose to consume in their company. 

Blog Post 9

The Video "Made in L.A." I had never heard of Forever 21 was very interesting and eye opening to a issue that I was never aware of at all. I never heard a thing of the Forever 21 Boycott, I do however think that if  the boycott was publicized more  it would have gained way more support and an agreement probable would of been reached much sooner .  I love shopping at Forever 21, it one of my favorite stores, so its very interesting to have a person that loves and shops at this store on the regular, not have a clue about the boycott. Honesty if I had heard of the boycott while it was happening I still probable wouldn't have stopped shopping  there, its not because I don't care or I'm not insensitive to the issue but I think can easily overlook the issue because I  have no personal ties to it and I'm not directly affected by the issue.

I really liked how the movie took such a detailed and close look at the victims in the issue. I think it's crucial to see the victims and their families during the boycott because it gives a close up picture of what these people and their families are experiencing. The in depth look really gives a first hand unedited picture that doesn't hide a things and opens you r eyes to what really went down, without sugar coding anything.

Week9

I had never heard of the boycott against Forever21. If I didn't watch this movie, I would never know that there was a campaign like this. Although I don't shop there often, the price there is so cheap. Now I know that one of the reasons of the affordable price is the exploitation of the garment workers. Personally, broader publicity would have helped the workers in their campaign because the more people know the more pressure on the company. When more people aware of the exploitation of the workers, they may tends to stop buying or shop less from Forever21. This would have created pressure on the company once the company realized how much they loss because of the campaign. Not only profit loss, they also lose their reputation. The increasing economic and social pressure forces them to sign the agreement.

I think the movie does a very nice good of intersectional depiction of the campaign as it depicts the race, class and gender differences in the campaign. The movie illustrates the origin of the garment workers and how they come to the United States to pursue their dreams and how they get disappointed. By doing this, the audience world have had a better image of the overall life of the poor immigrants and are able to compare them to the other people in the city.

However, I would love to hear more about the males' positions and views of this campaign. Although there is one lady who talks about how her husband feel toward her engagement in the campaign, It is still not enough to express the male's role and view in the campaign. Also, in order to get the views of the two genders, the movie can also interview the male workers or the husband of the female garment workers.

Although the head of Forever21 refused to be interviewed, I think it would be more informative to see how they see this issue and treated it in the company. Also, the customers' attitude would be interesting to know. The different situation and attitudes can provide other view. Anything that is related to the issue is worth to look at.

Blog 9

I had no idea that such a boycott existed!  For having won so many awards and becoming "nationwide," I am amazed that I have never heard about this. To be honest, it probably will not stop me from shopping at Forever21 because I am positive that nine out of ten stores I shop at use sweatshops. I know there have been issues with The Gap and Wal-Mart using sweatshops, and I am sure there are many more stores that, unbeknownst to me(like Forever21) also use sweatshops. Furthermore, I don't think that it would make any difference if I stopped shopping at Forever21 because of it's huge popularity.

 

However, if there had been more publicity around this campaign- enough to create common knowledge within the public- perhaps shoppers would think twice about entering Forever21's doors. Even if they did not have strong opinions against Forever21, they may have been afraid of what others would think of them for purchasing clothes from them. It seems highly unlikely that Foerver21 would have been deeply affected by a drop in sales, but it may have at least made a statement.

 

I suppose this film does depict the campaigners in an intersectional way. It covers three women from three different backgrounds. They were all facing the same issue in the garment industry, but they all had differing perspectives.

 

I think the movie was strong because of the focus on the three women. It made the film very personal for the viewers. We feel a connection to these women. The only other voices that would be necessary to hear would be that of the women's close family and/or friends. The point of the documentary was to capture these worker's stories and to give them the limelight. Throwing their loved ones in the mix would be an added bonus; it would probably leave us feeling even more empathy for these women.

Blog #9

I had never heard of the boycott against Forever 21 before seeing this documentary. Since I have very little faith or belief in the effectiveness of boycotts, despite the outcome of this one, I would probably not have been affected by the boycott. As a matter of fact, I was ironically wearing a sweater from Forever 21 the day we watched the film. Naturally, broader publicity would have helped the workers in their campaign. I was actually surprised that they were able to win their lawsuit with such a small group of people.  I found it quite comical when the workers were traveling across the United States to boycott other Forever 21 stores.  They looked so pathetic to me, and it is surprising that the Forever 21 Corporation bothered to take any notice of them at all.  I wish the film would have addressed whether or not Forever 21 saw any financial loss during the time period of the boycott or whether they figured they would just settle to get rid of a bother and prevent further slander toward the company name.

I thought the film did a good job in portraying the intersectionality of the campaigner's lives.  However, I think that the film could have shown a profile of a male worker to see if the conditions were the same.  Since gender discrimination occurs in many workplaces, especially in the area of salaries, it would be interesting to see if there was a distinctive discrepancy when it came to how much men and women were getting paid even in a work environment that was so corrupt. Of the three women that were primarily profiled, I think the film chose a good representation of three different types of women and their families.  They had a married woman with children, a single woman with children, and a single woman with no children.  The differences were interesting because they differed upon the number of dependants each woman had. I wish that they would have focused a little more on the women's relationships however, so we would have had something to compare the deadbeat husband of one campaigner to.  It seemed to me that this primary reference to only one man was stereotypical and maybe not a fair representation of immigrant male workers in the United States.

While I am not saying the campaigners did not have any right to protest, I think that Forever 21 should have chosen to be interviewed for the film. By refusing participation, they make themselves appear to be guilty of the campaigners accusations and I would have liked to hear what they had to say about the situation.  I want to know if they truly had no idea what was going on or if they just chose to ignore it.  I am not taking anyone's side to this situation, but I wondered throughout the film if Forever 21 wasn't as much as at fault as the people who physically ran the sweatshops.  

Blog 9- The Exploitation of Garment Workers

            I have actually seen this documentary before two years ago as part of the Fair Trade Task Force in MPIRG. However, before seeing it then, I had no idea about the sweatshop working conditions in which Forever 21 clothing is made. It did help impact my awareness about shopping, but I have also been working with MPIRG campaigns and learning about sweatshops still in existence in the U.S. and in U.S. territories in other courses. I do think that Made in L.A. is an important tool to open people's eyes. A broader publicity might have helped the workers in their campaign, but it is difficult to know because it looked like they already had quite a bit of publicity. Too much publicity can also create a backlash, but I believe it is important for the public to know what is going on. I am disappointed in the media because I did not find out about this struggle until long after it was resolved (to an extent).

            I think that the film did a decent job with an intersectional depiction, but it did lack a focus on a story of a man working in sweatshop conditions. It is difficult for the angle of the story, however, because very few men work in sweatshops and tend to do more heavy labor as immigrants. For the purpose and focus of the film (on the specific campaign against Forever 21), I think that it did a good job addressing various lives and lifestyles of those involved in the boycott. In this situation, a few store representatives are addressed and given opportunities to speak. More than anything, their silence is due to an unwillingness to speak. At the same time, we hear the voices of the privileged store managers and presidents all the time, when the marginalized garment workers are silenced. This story gives the garment workers the opportunity to tell their story from their point of view without the influence and intimidation of people higher up or the consumers.

            I really enjoy this documentary and think it is heartbreaking to hear some of the stories and to know that sweatshops still exist, not just in the United States, but also around the world. That also brings up an important point mentioned in the film about how garment workers are having a harder time getting jobs because companies and contractors are moving the work elsewhere, where they can continue to get away with sweatshop conditions for their workers. It is a vicious cycle that needs to be stopped; we need to work to come up with transnational regulations in the labor industry to end exploitation of workers.

Blog 9

I was not aware of the boycott against Forever 21 before seeing this movie on Thursday.  Before viewing the movie, I had already cut my frequent shopping at the store, simply because I need to start saving money for after I graduate this semester. Student loans over fashion, I suppose. But the movie overall did make me think more about the clothes that I do buy at Forever 21 or otherwise.

I was mainly just surprised because I assumed that bigger, more global chains would be more apt to use sweatshop labor.  But then the more that I thought about it, labor standards probably do have a direct correlation with how the store can get away with such low prices. This is probably why broader publicity was needed, so more people would have been aware.  Though at the same time, I think that at the time this film was made, Forever 21 wasn't quite to the nationwide peak/popularity that it is today.

I do think that this film was an intersectional depiction. It involves race, gender, and class. The women garment workers are non-white, lower class females, which is important to their story, because unfortunately they are at a disadvantage in the American white, male business world hierarchy.  This interwoven element of their story was essential because it greatly contributed to their treatment during the boycott, the initial rejection, and the many months that it took for their case to be appealed. As far as other aspects, I guess nothing else was really necessary. I feel that there was enough information to be thoroughly invested in the story. However, I would have been interested to know where those women are now, simply because it is easy for the audience to have an emotional connection to their stories.

As far as other voices being included in the documentary, clearly it would have been more "balanced" had the Forever 21 corporate staff had a say. But however, it was their choice not to comment on the situation. Though, a deeper perspective of what the Forever 21 customers thought of the boycott/circumstances would have been interesting.     

Blog #9: Made in L.A./Hench en Los Angeles

I had heard there was a boycott against Forever 21 because of poor working conditions of the women making clothing for them, but I was not aware that the sweatshops were in Los Angeles. Over the last several years there have been several documentaries made about the sweatshop conditions women migrant workers from around the world, but I had not seen one involving workers in the United States. In some ways, (although it is, retrospectively, perhaps a bit naive) this was the hardest part of watching this film; that these conditions exist here in the United States.

On some level, broader publicity of the worker's campaign may have helped at least pressure Forever 21 into negotiations earlier. However, even if Forever 21 was forced to change production in the United States, it seems reasonable to assume they would have moved production to another country and continued these same business practices to maintain their profits.

Most of the workers in Made in L.A./Hecho en Los Angeles are immigrant women from Latin America, but even within this group of women there is a great amount of diversity; some are undocumented, some are single, some are mothers; some come from Mexico or El Salvador. However, all of these women are made vulnerable to exploitation in the garment industry because of their socioeconomic status. The historical and cultural connections to women and the garment industry could have been explored further in the movie, especially during the trip made to New York. Additionally, there was surprisingly little detail about the experience of the women at work. However, the gendered domestic lives of these women were well portrayed, especially through Maria Pineda. Pineda highlighted the ways that women work a "double day" through wage labor and domestic responsibilities including child rearing, cooking, and cleaning. Lupe Hernandez summed the ways these women's immigrant status influenced their experience when she said the as an immigrant "you basically don't exist." I imagine undocumented workers are especially vulnerable to sweatshop exploitation because of the fear of deportation.

I think hearing from someone that represented Forever 21 would have added a nice dimension to the documentary, but it is not surprising they refused to be interviewed. Interviews with immigration and/or labor lawyers may have added a richer understanding of the women's struggle as well as tying their experience to the historical experiences of women in the garment industry in the United States.

week 9 blog

            I had not heard about the boycott against forever 21 prior to this movie. It would not have changed my shopping patterns mainly because I do not work there. That being said I do try and pay attention to these issues and plan my shopping accordingly. There is a lot of hype around American Apparel because they are a strictly U.S. based company and that claims to be "sweat shop free". I choose not to shop there because of their business ethics and their attitudes towards workers rights. They have a history of anti-union tactics. When shopping (online), I try to be conscious of what I'm buying by using Knowmore.org - a website started by Hip-hop artist Sage Francis. The idea behind Know More "is to raise awareness of corporate abuse, and to serve as a catalyst for direct action against corporate power."

 

            I think the movie did a good job addressing the campaigners' lives and identities. Their histories of their migration to the United States is very vital in explaining how they got their jobs. Since many of them don't speak English and come here illegally they must get whatever job they can. Unfortunately, many of them take on sweatshop a job because they believe that that's all there is for them and they don't have rights as workers. Like one of them said, they take the jobs that no one else is willing to take because little money is better than none. In regards to other voices that should've been included, I think it would have been good to hear from some of the mail workers as well. While the job as a garment worker is primarily female, there were men at those meetings. Even if they did not work there they were supportive, and hearing their opinions would've been beneficial as well. One voice that we didn't get to hear from was Forever21 but that was because they refused to answer any questions. I would've like to hear their justifications; that would've been interesting.

 

            The movie brought up an interesting point in bringing up Globalization. With the garment workers making big gains in regards to their wages, a lot lost their jobs after the companies decided to ship them overseas. One of the workers was learning English and was going to take the steps to become an American citizen because she lost her job after it went overseas. That's not to say that the struggle has stopped. The other day an article was posted about 3 garment workers who had lost their lives due to rioting outside a factory where the bosses had decided to shut it down refusing to pay its workers for their time.

http://libcom.org/news/3-dead-garment-workers-clashes-unions-promised-new-role-04112009

 

Blog 9

I was not aware of the boycott against Forever 21. However, before watching the movie, I wonder where the company hired people to make enormous amount of clothing since young girls are now attracted to fashion. I love shopping at Forever 21 because of the style and the prices are very cheap. But now I know why the prices are cheap. Plus seeing the movie makes me think about how we pay so much for buying Forever 21 clothes, yet the garment workers are getting paid less of what they make. Although the campaign did indeed spread throughout the nation, I wasn't aware of it. I think broader publicity would have helped the workers if they traveled to different state and go protest in cities where people can actually see and learn what is going on with the garment workers. Unless the media are trying to exclude the issue from letting people know, especially majority of money spend on Forever 21 clothes are targeted manly on young women.


The movie did a good job of addressing intersectional depiction of the campaigners because the women talked about their life before and after coming to the United States. They also talked about having high hope of an American dreams and working in a job that was fair. Unfortunately, things didn't go the way they planned because their spouse causes chaos, and the job they were working for was unfair to them. I think they should have address other garment workers who does not work for Forever 21, however have similar issue because it would have made more people be aware of the issue of unpaid rights for garment workers.


The Forever 21 president should have voice his or her opinion about the boycott because it would have made better sense of why garment workers are not getting paid correctly. Unless they knew about the unpaid rights of the workers, but decided to not speak out because they are guilty of the truth. People can assume a lot of things, and think that the president does not care about the workers but themselves. Aside for the president, shutting off managers to not speak about the issue must have been the president idea of not leaking the problems of garment workers. yet wanting to make profits by not letting other people know about the issue.

Blog #9-Made in L.A./Hecho en Los Angeles

Although I was not aware of the boycott against Forever 21, I have walked past this store many times when I've been out in the malls with my daughters.  Our own shopping patterns consist of second hand stores like Savers, Goodwill & other thrift stores.  There are also some good consignment stores out there where you can earn some money by bringing in clothes you no longer wear.  I am glad to know that my daughters also prefer these stores over shopping at the mall stores.  After seeing this documentary, I can't say that I'm going to change my views on mall stores any time soon. I'm sticking to my secondhand stores.

While I do have my own personal limits as to what I will and will not buy secondhand, I do know people who have no limits.  What are we really paying so much for when we buy things like clothing brand new? I would rather buy something secondhand than support something like this.  Being that I do sew, as my hobby and also at times for hire. I have the freedom to choose how much to charge for my time and effort.  These workers do not have this luxury, which I feel is very sad.  They have more skill that I do after 20 years of sewing and they get no credit for it. I myself, can only manage to sew for a couple hours at a time.  I could not fathom 10-12 hours days & no breaks and having to bring it home too.

The courts initially denied the case, which prolonged a process that already takes along time to get through. Broader publicity may have brought more attention to the boycott.  It's not hard to figure out that this type of case would have gotten more attention, more media and possibly been over sooner if the campaigner's were not undocumented, Hispanic/Mexican women. Then again, at least in the U.S. for sure there would not have been a group of middle to lower class Caucasian/white women in this position.  The sweatshop owners knew who to target and that is just what they did.  Like it was mentioned in the movie, It's was better to take the little they could get than have nothing at all.

Whether or not Forever 21 actually "knew" about the conditions the garment factory workers were under, we will not know.  They choose to deny an interview, which in my mind basically says they did know they were wrong in what they were doing.  The store manager who was taking pictures...what was she going to do with them? Make scrapbook to preserve the memory?  There were so many people involved directly and indirectly in the wrongdoings of Forever 21.  I'm glad that these strong women and men(as there were some) finally got to share their story and experience victory over Forever 21.

While I did pay attention to the legal details of the story, I was much more interested in the personal stories of the women, their families and how they came to the U.S.   I felt that this was a good example of the intersectionality of race, class & gender.  These women came from countries where they have already struggled.  Countries where as Lupe herself stated, "there was no place to advance themselves."  They came to the U.S.  for a better life and they were taken advantage of .  They were all young girls upon arriving in the U.S. some were married with babies, some were orphans, and some had to leave their babies behind .  I have not experienced any of these conditions in my own life and do not know anyone who has. 

Being a young mom in the U.S. is one thing, being a young mom and having to live the life these women had been living was a different story.  These are all strong women, they are supporting their entire families, some here in the states and some in their home country.  Maria, who's husband had a job but drank away his paycheck every payday.  I was glad to see that she eventually was able to get out of that situation.  He did not support her in the boycott, but she soon found that she didn't need his support.  Lupe has a strength that has kept her alive in the worst times of her life.  It was sad to see her put herself down, calling herself ugly.  She came so far in this movie and accomplished alot, yet she did not forget who she was and were she came from.

If any of these women ended up discouraged, which was understandable, it did not last long.  Maura had been planning on having her children come to L.A. from El Salvador, the plan did not work out which was heartbreaking for her.   Maura and her sister were able to acknowledge that they came from a country where they could not better themselves, they also greatly missed the simplicity and the beauty of their country.  They sacrificed so much and ended up receiving very little for it.  

The tour in New York of the Tenement Museum was really an interesting part of the movie.  It did show that the backbone of the United States were at one time, and possibly now the immigrants who come here for a better life.  You can see it even today, they will work the jobs no one else will work.  The low paying, hard labor jobs that yes, they may not have it as bad as these women did, but it's still not acceptable in my mind.  I have not been to New York but I would like to go someday and see those areas that show those people who had a hand in making our country.  Somewhere along the lines, I think the dream they all had has been lost in what is now run by corporate executives who get rich off others like Lupe, Maura and Maria. 

When I saw the street sign that said "Fashion District" & knowing that this movie was set in L.A., my most favorite show, Project Runway flashed through my mind.  I wonder, if this area is still the same.  There are were many small independent shops in the show that are a part of that area of L.A. Project Runway is a big time show and I can't help but think if the designers are really aware of what might be going on not too far from where they might be. 

Week 9 Blog Entry

Prior to watching the documentary, I had not heard of the boycott, but I also have the feeling it may have been several years ago because I do not know how old the movie is. If it was something that I was aware of and it happened recently, it would have absolutely impacted my shopping patterns, and I feel like it would also affect the shopping patters of many of my peers; I feel that broader publicity would have helped the workers in their campaign. If more people were aware of the boycott, more people would have participated, and Forever 21 may not have waited until the court ruling to make changes.

 

I'm a public relations student, and throughout the movie I grew more than a little frustrated with the lack of publicity the Garment Workers Center was advocating for. The center was very good with grassroots organization, but a cause does not stop there. To get people to adopt your cause, you need to let them know about it. The simple fact of the matter is that they failed to inform the general public. The protests did get them some media attention, but the clips that were shown seemed to be local to Los Angeles or in the Spanish speaking press. I'm confident that with just a little bit of effort, the center could have gained enough earned media to dramatically change the country's attitudes towards Forever 21; the boycott had several aspects needed for news coverage: newness, conflict against a large organization, significance because of the number of people the cause represented, timeliness because of ongoing immigration debates, and prominence because Forever 21 is well-known.

 

I feel like the movie did a good job with intersectional analysis because it talked not only about gender, but about class and race. They even discussed immigration status frequently. I was a little surprised that no men were interviewed.

 

I think the movie was effective because it told the story mostly though the eyes of the garment workers who rarely have this big of a platform to voice their concerns. Forever 21 declined to comment, so while it might have been nice to get a little bit of their side of the story, that was impossible. I do think that they could have explored some other garment factories that are sweatshop-free to talk about how they were able to provide acceptable working conditions when other factories failed to offer fair hours and fair pay.

 

I found some similar information on current boycotts and sweatshops online:

http://aintiawoman.org/DKNY/dkny.html

http://www.nmass.org/nmass/index.html

http://www.aflcio.org/corporatewatch/stop/

Week 9 Blog Assignment

I had not heard of the boycott against Forever 21 until I saw the movie Made in L.A./Hecho en Los Angeles. If I had heard about it prior to seeing this film, I think that it definitely would have made an impact on my shopping habits.  I don't often buy clothes from Forever 21, but I do buy bags and accessories from the For Love 21 store, and I assume that if the women making the garments for the company were subject to such harsh conditions, women making accessories, scarves, and handbags would be subject to the same conditions as well.  It would have at least made me think twice before entering the store in the first place.  I think that the broader population definitely would have helped workers with their campaign had they known about it.  It may not be a majority of shoppers, but even deterring one person who then deterred another and so forth could make a profound impact for the workers' cause.

 

I think that the movie did a decent job showing an intersectional analysis of the campaigners.  They showed a broad range of ages amongst the workers as well as did an excellent job portraying the worker's public and private lives and how issues regarding the campaign affected both aspects of their lives, not just one.  I kind of wish the movie had shown more male workers perspectives as well as maybe what some of the garment workers husbands felt about their wives investing so much of their time into the campaign (nearly 3 years I believe it was)

 

I think that having the story be told exclusively by the garment workers themselves was extremely effective.  It is important hearing the trials and tribulations of the actual people who worked for Forever 21 rather than their story being told through someone else. It makes the issue much more real since, as I explained before, we also got a look into their familial and personal lives and how the boycott effecting more than just their jobs, it affected their (and their family's) livelihood.  I do think it would have been interesting to see what employees of the retail chain felt about the boycott as well as what the president of the company had to say about all the issues going on, but I' think that even if it was in the film, it would have been completely censored since there is probably a protocol on what Forever 21 employees can even legally say about the company without putting their jobs at risk.  Interviewing anyone other than the workers probably would have detracted from the main message of the movie.

Blog Post 9

Before watching the movie, "Made in L.A." I had never heard of Forever 21.  Not that I shop at stores like that, or retail in general but I'm a little embarrassed that I was unaware of the boycott.  The movie didn't outline the time frame very well.  I understand that the boycott continued for three years however by the end of the movie I was unclear as to what year the lawsuit finally settled out of court.  I checked on line and from wikipedia.org I discovered that the lawsuit ended in 2001 with no admission of wrong doing by the company only that they would abide by labor laws and pay back wages to employees who had worked in the sweat shops that they contracted through.

I also learned that Forever 21 is much more unscrupulous and unethical then the movie depicted.  I think it's fascinating that not only were there law suits filed by the Garment Workers but also by Diane von Furstenberg, a designer who claimed that they were stealing designs by "high end fashion brands". After that other designers followed suit with their own claims that the company was ripping off designs.  In 2004 PETA too put pressure on the company to stop selling clothes made with animal fur, which they agreed to do.  There refund policy is also under scrutiny for not giving full refunds but rather giving store credit for any returned item.

I was fascinated with the stories of the women featured in the movie.  It was interesting to see their transformation from quiet and accepting of their situation to fighting back and realizing that even as undocumented workers they had a right not to be exploited and should be paid, at the least, a minimum wage.  I would have like to learn more about what was actually going on within the building of the garment workers.  But then I guess that would have breached confidentiality by showing the managers and needlessly exposing the other undocumented workers.  I was also curious as to how the Garment Worker Center got started, how the women and lawyers who were working on behalf of the garment workers got involved and who was financing the project / Center.

It was stated that the producers of the movie tried to interview someone from Forever 21 but they refused.  Those are the voices that were missing for me.

They did try and tell their stories by traveling to colleges and talking to students and by picketing at stores in other cities.  I was impressed that they sent Lupe to Hong Kong to participate in the rally taking place at the 2005 World Trade Organization's conference in order to draw attention to international workers being affected by the globalized market . . . or at least that was my assumption since they didn't expand on that either.

One of my favorite things that Lupe said, and there were several was essentially this: 'Ignorance can keep you isolated from knowing or wanting more.  And the more I learn the lonelier I become'.  It was difficult and eye opening for her to see the injustices and yet I'm sure it made her a stronger and more resilient person having had the experiences she did.

video blog

I had never heard of the Forever 21 boycott before seeing this movie. The movie made me more aware of how clothes are made, I always knew that there were exploited workers, but the movie was very eye opening to the fact that these garment workers are suffering. When I shop now, I will be more aware of where the clothes are coming from. I cannot say that I will never buy something from Forever 21 again (because there was a settlement agreement), but I think it is important to be aware. I believe that broader publicity would have been a lot of help when they were on the boycott. I had never heard of it before the movie, they should have had more publicity at more stores around the country.
I think this is an intersectional analysis because the movie reported on many aspects of their lives. From the conditions at the place of work, to the family structure at home; the movie showed us how being exploited effected every aspect of their lives. I think the movie did a very good job of showing us how working at Forever 21 was affecting their lives in more than one way.
I thought that having the garment workers do most of the narrating was very effective. It made the story more believable and had a greater emotional impact. It gave us a look into the faces of the exploited workers and we got to see first had how bad the conditions were and how making less than minimum wage was not enough to support a family. I wish that there could have been more information on the actual agreement that they made at the end, but I realize that it is illegal to record that information. I would also like to know the opinions of the other side, the president of Forever 21, and see how he felt about it and why he didn't do anything sooner.

Blog 9

After watching the movie Made in L.A/ Hecho en Los Angeles, it was much to my surprise about the boycott against Forever 21. I do not shop regularly at Forever 21, so that might be the reason I was not aware of the boycott that was taking place.  I definitely think that broader publicity would have helped the workers in their campaign, mainly to spread the word to more people. They started with a small group of female garment workers; I think that if they recruited more people, like employees of Forever 21, both male and female, they could target a higher population of people and expand it to all 50 states.

            I also believe that this movie did a good job of depicting intersectionality. We observed the lives of the Hispanic women of the working class. We saw the family structure of how it was mainly the woman who raised the children and was working to support her family. They did not talk much about the men or husbands of these women and how they contributed to their family. We never found out what kinds of jobs the men had or how their income contributed to the family. We also observed the community these Hispanic women lived in which also form their identity.

            This movie was mainly told by the garment workers, I thought this was important because you got an understanding of their life. The experiences, and hardships these women went through both at their private life at home and public life at the factory.  I think it was important that this movie was told mainly by the garment workers, but I think it would have been beneficial to interview the President of Forever 21 to hear his excuses about the poor working conditions, the excessive hours of work, not receiving overtime, but mainly the unfair pay. These women were not even getting paid minimum wage!

            One thing that really stood out to me was how strong these women are. They continued their boycott for over three years and continued fighting for what they wanted. They were not going to stop until the papers were signed.  It was also interesting how much work the women did at home to support their family. I cannot even imagine living in these circumstances and I hope it makes everyone think of the different places the shop at.

            

Blog 9 Assignment

I was not aware of the boycott against the clothing store Forever 21.  However, I told some of my friends about the movie and they had heard about the boycott.  I definitely think the movie did a good job at showing the lives of the campaigners.  By the end of the movie, I really felt like I knew the campaigners personally; their families, their struggles, etc.  I don't think they needed to go any further in detail about the campaigners because the point of the movie was to depict the problem with sweat shops not share the lives of the campaigners.  I thought the movie did a good job at keeping a balance between the lives of the campaigners and the problem with the Forever 21.

I don't think other people's voices were really necessary in the movie.  The voices that were important, discussed, and meaningful were those of the garment workers.  I think it would have been interesting to hear what the president, Mr. Chang, had to say about the garment worker's boycott but the movie showed he declined to be interviewed.  I really enjoyed the movie, Hecho en Los Angeles, because it was political and interesting.  It made me think about the way other people live and that sometimes I take my life and the privileges I have for granted.  No matter who you are, where you come from, or what you do, everyone has the right to be treated equally and with dignity.  I applaud the campaigners for their persistance and determination.
 

Blog 9

I was not aware of the boycott against Forever 21. I have never bought anything there, but it did make me think about all the other places that sell cheap things like that. Those clothes, shoes, or whatever had to be made somewhere. It makes me wonder if the prices I pay are enough to cover the production of the product, considering that most companies will take higher profits over fair pay. We generally ignore this problem when it occurs outside of the U.S. I know I buy things made in countries with sweatshops that aren't illegal. Then we think that if something is made in the U.S. its ok, that the manufacturer had to pay the workers minimum wage because it's the law.

 

I don't know how much of an impact higher publicity would have had for these workers. I think the people I know that shop at Forever 21 would have stopped had they known, but how much impact would a drop in sales have had on the lawsuit? I don't think it could have expedited the process too considerably, and the dip in sales would probably have eventually ended when the story got old.

 

I think the movie did a pretty good job presenting an intersectional analysis of the campaigners' lives. They investigated the affects of the workers' race and class on their situation. One thing I think they could have done more to look into is the affect of their gender on their status as employees. They definitely showed the roles these women had as wives and mothers outside of the factory, but they didn't investigate gender within the working environment. We did not see many male garment workers, and I wonder if that is because most of the garment workers are female. If so, they could have presented a similar occupation dominated by male Latino immigrants to explore what (if any) impact being female had on the garment workers' treatment.

 

In order to get a fair picture of the situation, I do think the filmmakers need to talk to people from all sides of the issue. The story is definitely about the garment workers' struggles, but that needs to be balanced by a fair depiction of who exactly they're up against. In this case it looked like the Forever 21 people were not willing to talk, and the women's direct employers shut their doors on the cameras. So, maybe it just wasn't possible to get their point of view.

Week 9 Blog - Video

I was never aware of the boycott against Forever 21 before seeing Made in LA. I do however shop there often so I definitely took this movie to heart. I love shopping there because the clothes are so cheap, but now I know why they are so cheap. I was really relieved to hear that they finally did win the lawsuit and an agreement was signed toward fair labor practices.

 

I think this movie did a fairly good job with intersectional analysis in some ways. They focused on women from different places around the world, women who came from different types of families, and Women of different ages. However, I did notice that the entire movie focused on the female gender and not at all on the males that were also affected by this case. Also, It would have been difficult to bring in the intersection of different classes because upper class people were not experiencing these difficulties.

 

I think the focus on the garment workers was effective. The workers and their families were the people who took the hardest hit in this case and the focus on them made the movie very powerful and it gave them a chance to spread their word.

Blog #9

I was not aware of the boycott against Forever 21 only after seeing it did I realize that something like this occurred to a retailer store that many women around the U.S. shops at. I shop at Forever 21 sometimes and seeing this makes me think differently about the store. It also makes me think about the other retailer stores that I shop at and I wonder if there are garment workers like these workers that deal with the same situation at these other stores. Broader publicity would maybe help more because the world knows about this boycott and it would be more helpful for the garment workers.

 

This boycott Forever 21 is an intersectional depiction of the campaigners because it focuses on the women's lives and how they dealt with working as a garment worker. They struggled throughout the process and to get the chance to do something about it and get the agreement they wanted, help change their lives around. We got to see what they needed help with and how they came public about it. Even though they also doubted that the agreement would not pass with the President of Forever 21, they stayed positive and strong during the 3 years. The workers got to express their feelings, thoughts, and concerns about the situation and their lives with their family.

 

I don't think that anyone else's voice should be heard because this was focused on the women garment workers. They had to deal with the fact that they got paid so little and it was hard to support their family. The women's got the chance to speak out and get their voices heard so that other people knew what they were going through. This was a very interesting video to watch and something new for me to learn about the garment workers and their lives working for Forever 21.

Week 9 Blog

I was not aware of the boycott against Forever 21 before this movie.  I was a bit shocked, but another one of my impressions was "What company does not have sweat shops anymore?" If you look at where your clothing is made, there are a number of them that claim the Philippines, China, Ecuador, and many more third world countries. Forever 21 just hits at home. Sweat-shops are wrong of course, but how is it that they expect a change when there is always other people willing to take the jobs that they are protesting against? Companies can just go find another group to exploit if one complains too much, thus making those who complaint out of job. It is a complex structure that would require more work and unification to achieve rights. I believe that the broader publicity may have helped the workers in the campaign if it understood what was going on. The fact that the protestors had signs in Spanish may confuse some people, and I felt that they protested in their local communities more than anything. They should have expanded their protests to other cities surrounding the California area, and again, more people would have helped. They needed more unification, and I felt that they did lose hope in the video.

 

I found that this video was indeed an intersectional depiction of the campaigners. It goes into class, and their status, and looks at how their job affects how they live and struggle.  From family, to living conditions, to wage pay, it all contributes to how they live, and shapes who they are.  Some other aspects that could have been address are its affect on the children and their perspectives. I personally believe that children that grow up in situations such as this, grow up a lot faster than middle-income children. They are faced with responsibilities that most teenagers in American don't even think about. Like the little "chunky" boy who has to translate for his mother, she also noted that he wanted to get a job to help out the family. He looks like he hasn't even fully developed yet, and here he is thinking about money and contribution.

 

I believe that with the story from the garment workers, it does have an emotional affect. You get a first hand look into their lives, and realize how difficult it really is. I believe it was very affective and heartfelt, and if there were any other voices, I think that hearing from Forever 21 itself would have been interesting. The customers that continue to shop there would have been interesting to look at too. It would have probably make the situation even more complex though because consumers shop there because it is cheap/fashionable because of low wage pay in sweat shops, so the question is whether or not the general public is willing to sacrifice cheap clothes to pay workers what they deserve...

Week 9 Blog

Before watching the movie, I had not heard of the "Forever 21 Boycott." It is interesting to hear about a boycott against a large known retailer. I am wondering if any other large retailer has gone through a similar process. Do other large retail stores have sweatshops that do not pay minimum wage or don't care about their employees? I do believe that if their campaign had had more publicity more people in America could have seen the affect that these employees were going through. However, with greater publicity, people could have felt pity for these employees but not truly understand what they were experiencing or the message being conveyed in the media.

Overall, I do believe the movie addressed intersectionality very well. They interviewed the women, looking into both their private lives and how the sweatshop affected their own families, as well as their public lives and how it took away any free time. The movie compared the lives of three, I believe, lower class women to each other as well as other people affected by these sweatshops. The movie addressed where they originally came from and how when they left their home, they were looking for a bigger dream in America but ended up having to work for less than minimum wage in unfit conditions. However, the movie did not address the conflicts that men faced, either who worked in the sweatshops or whose wife worked in the sweatshops. Interviews with the men would have given a different perspective and maybe another side of the story that the women's perspectives left out.

Additional voices that could have been included in the movie were the maintenance employees who had to make sure the equipment was running properly. Since they would have also been contracted out by Forever 21, were they being paid less than necessary and receiving no benefits. Also, it would have been nice to hear what the cashiers, store managers, and up to the top executives thought about this boycott and if they knew that the stores clothes were being made in unsuitable sweatshops by people who were paid very little. I know in the movie they tried to conduct an interview with the President of Forever 21 and other higher up managers, but they refused to answer.

 

Blog 9

I was not aware of the boycott against Forever 21, and I was quite shocked when I heard about it. Forever 21 has been one of my favorite stores for the past few years, and after seeing the documentary, I now see the store in a negative light. I definitely think that a broader policy would've helped workers with their campaign because if more people were aware of what was going on, they would have second guessed buying from Forever 21. The campaign did spread out nationally, but I think that if they were able to reach more people, it would've prompted others to take action. Also, I noticed that they protested speaking Spanish a lot of the time, and I think that this could have been a way that people didn't know what was going on because of the language barrier. I think that the documentary was an intersectional analysis because it focused on Hispanic women who were all of the working class. I believed that they could've talked more about men's roles in the garment industry and how they face problems as well. I would also like to know the challenges of being an undocumented immigrant as well as being a documented immigrant and how the labor conditions vary.

I think that it was beneficial that the garment workers only spoke in Spanish during the film because it gave a direct look into their lives, and if it wasn't spoken in Spanish, it would have been like an "outsider looking in" point of view. The fact that they spoke in Spanish allowed the viewer to be placed in their situation. I do not think that other voices should have been included because the documentary was based around the struggles that the garment workers were facing and other voices would have took away from that. They did have a brief clip from the president of Forever 21, but he denied responsibility of what was going on. Any other voices would have denied what was going on as well and would take away from the main focus.

Blog 9

 

            Before seeing the movie, I had no idea that there was a boycott like this against Forever 21. I found it interesting and after figuring out that it was this type of store, I started to reflect and question the stores that I shop at. O just wondered if the types of retailers that I shop at have gone through this similar dilemma and if their workers are being paid fairly, from the very tip-top down. I think that a broader publicity would not have helped the workers more because it had to start where the oppression and unfair acts started. I think that if they were to have gone into other places and protested, other people would not have received the message as clearly and would not have understood it.

            Overall, I think that this movie does a really good job of intersectionality. I think that they only thing that they leave out is the views of the men -meaning the husbands of the women that had protested. They also did not interview men and I would have liked to have seen that, in order to get both views of the gender perspective. Other than that, I think that they did a great job by going to their place of origin, digging into their public vs. private lives and showing how they compared to other people within society.

            I think that there should have been other people's voices heard within this campaign. I think that the voices of the shop workers on up to the CEOs should have been addressed, even though they tried to get them to interview. Also, I think that the janitors and the mechanics of the machinery should have been included because without them, these garment workers would not have had a place to work.

Week 9 Blog Assignment

After watching the film "Made in L.A./Hecho en Los Angeles, I was quite surprised to be honest.  This may be naive on my own part, but I was not aware that we had a major sweat shop problem in the U.S., for some reason I only thought that was a problem they mostly had in China.  However, this movie opened up my eyes to the issues of sweat shops in the U.S. and I'm very glad I saw this film.  Before the film, I was not aware of the boycott against Forever 21, and if I had been aware of this it would have impacted my shopping patterns at the store in a negative way for their company.  I was actually just at a Forver 21 store yesterday to return a purchase I had made a few weeks ago.  To my surprise, Forever 21 doesn't let you return, you only have the option of an exchange or in store credit, I chose the credit.  After seeing this film, I really don't want to shop their anymore. Even though in the film they came to an agreement, I still feel what they did to these workers in the first was terrible and should of never happened.  I think that broader publicity would have helped the workers in their campaign. Perhaps, I wasn't paying close enough attention, but I was never aware of this problem, and I know all my friends who shop at Forever 21 weren't either. If there had been more publicity around this issue, I think that more people would have joined in and helped the workers win their case.   

I believe this movie is an intersectional depiction of the campaigners because it incorporates race, class, and gender.  It also touched on the workers places of origin and their family history.  I think it would have been interesting if in the film they talked to more male employees and to the female employees's kids.  I think the children of these garment factory workers would have provided an interesting aspect to the film.  I know the head people at the company of Forever 21 refused to be interviewed for this film.  However, I think it would have been useful to the film if they had interviewed people who worked in Forever 21 stores and customers who shop their to get their opinion on the situation.  This would have added a completely different perspective then the one that the workers game.