10 Retailers You Should Think Twice About Buying From on Black Friday

Abercrombie and Fitch, Macy's, Walmart and Zara top the list.

Photo Credit: a katz / Shutterstock

Fast fashion has a major human toll. Here are 10 of the worst offenders.

1. Abercrombie and Fitch

A&F was rated America's most hated retailer and has faced numerous lawsuits regarding its "look policy." And while Abercrombie & Fitch claims to employ "best practices in workplace safety," some of the controversial methods it uses to sandblast jeans have been linked to illness and death among its workers.

2. Walmart 

On November 10, Los Angeles Walmart workers participated in the first-ever sit-down strike in protest against poor labor practices. Thousands of low-wage workers will protest with them in solidarity this Friday. 

3-5. Forever 21, T.J. Maxx and Ross Stores

This month, the U.S. Department of Labor discovered that garment workers at some sweatshop factories in Southern California are currently making clothes for these brands for just $4 an hour.

6. Macy's

As of July 2016, Macy's has been inspected 42 times since 2007 by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. An OSHA news release said: 

"Macy's continues to ignore OSHA standards and previously cited violations that relate to blocked emergency exits and access to electrical disconnect panels that puts employees at risk of serious injury or death," said Condell Eastmond, OSHA's area director in Fort Lauderdale. "The retailer has a long inspection history and is aware that all of its facilities' exits must remain unobstructed so that employees can safely escape in the event of an emergency."

7. Zara 

Zara, the world's largest clothing retailer, employs Syrian refugees in Turkey who make just £1 ($1.22) an hour, as discovered by a BBC investigative program.

8. Mango

Mango was found guilty of employing refugee children at an extremely low rate, to which a spokesperson responded that the store had a "zero tolerance towards the practices described in the 'Panorama' [BBC] program." 

9. Topshop

Beyonce's Ivy Park collection for Topshop is made by Sri Lankan sweatshop workers earning only 64 cents an hour.

10. Uniqlo

After failing to improve factory conditions for workers in its Chinese factories, the company faced backlash from labor groups for continued worker abuses and environmental pollution.


Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

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