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Year of publication: 2007
One consumer in two in Germany buys clothing from discounters, often alongside their purchases of more expensive products from specialist shops and brand-name producers. To attract even more customers, discounters are also increasingly selling high value goods, also at extremely low prices. In recent years, retailers new to the textile and clothing (T&C) trade such as Germany’s largest discounter, ALDI, have taken over the top positions in domestic T&C retailing. Among the more than 80% of the population that shop in branches of ALDI North and ALDI South, higherearners are the largest single group. Rich or poor, most of them are looking for clothes bargains. Yet what is a good deal for the customer is anything but a fair deal for the sewing workers involved in the manufacture of these goods. As the case studies from China and Indonesia in this brochure demonstrate, fundamental labour laws, in the case of ALDI’s Chinese suppliers, are being violated as never before.
The SÜDWIND Institute wishes to use this brochure to raise the awareness of consumers and trade unions in Germany of the social implications of ALDI’s global textile sourcing and to provide impulses for protest campaigns against this practice. This brochure also provides background information, in the form of a detailed portrait of the T&C retailer and discounter ALDI as well as an analysis of developments in the international trade in textiles and clothing since the phase-out of the WTO’s Agreement on Textiles and Clothing and the structural transformation in grocery retailing. It also gives ideas for a range of campaigning strategies, which can be addressed not only to ALDI itself, but also to political decision-makers.
(Ingeborg Wick, 96 Pages)