Lora Merryman is a Master of Science student in Fashion and Apparel Studies at the University of Delaware (class of 2021). She also graduated from the UD with a Bachelor’s Science in Fashion Merchandising in 2020. She currently works for QVC as a global sourcing intern.
#1: In history, the garment industry helps many developing countries start the industrialization process. Given the situation described in the case study, why or why not do you think the Eastern African countries are following the same development path? Should they?
#2: Notably, very few used clothing exported from the United States to EAC countries were actually “Made in USA”—they were originally imported from Asian countries such as China, Vietnam, and Bangladesh. Also, most U.S. used clothing exports to EAC were “free giveaways” by U.S. consumers. Is it ethical for SMART to oppose the used clothing import ban so that its own can make a profit? What is your evaluation? If you were the president of SMART, how would you respond to the ethical concerns?
#3: As we are talking about the opportunities associated with the circular economy, why or why not do you think accepting used clothing imports will lead to a sustainable economic development path for EAC countries?
#4: To which extent do you think automation in garment manufacturing will challenge the conclusions of the textile and apparel stages of development theory we discussed in the class?
#5: If automation can only create “factories without workers” in the US and resulting in more garment workers in the developing countries lose their jobs, should we still support the efforts and make it happen? What is your assessment?
(Welcome to our online discussion. For students in FASH455, please address at least two questions and mention the question number (#) in your reply)