Academic journals for high school students

Academic journals

Introducing academic journals for high school students

Human Rights Abuses in Fast Fashion and Black Market Industries

Grace Song

Seoul International School


The Anti-Slavery Society of Newcastle, England, sounded a clarion call to American cotton growers in 1838. It was asserted that the surest path to ending slavery was “a wide-spreading and thoughtful conviction, that the unnecessary purchase of one iota of slave labor produce, involved the purchaser in the guilt of the Slaveholder.” However, these castigations largely fell on deaf ears. As such, the history of abolition dates back to the early eighteenth century. Obviously, consumer politics is viewed as a modern phenomenon, but this parochial thinking ignores the fact that consumer politics was the primary tactic of the free produce movement, which emerged on both sides of the Atlantic in the early nineteenth century. Quakers and free black abolitionists urged people to avoid purchasing slave-made goods. For historians assessing the effectiveness of abolition, historical efforts such as the Free Produce Movement are extremely important; it’s similar to the adage “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” credited to the Spanish philosopher George Santayana. Reviewing a case study from Bangladesh, this paper will also examine the economic reasons for companies that exploit free workers and why contemporary slavery is often prevalent in underdeveloped nations. Political consumerism, a key concept for understanding modern-day slavery, will also be discussed and extensively analyzed in order to investigate the differences between boycott and buycott. This discussion will then be extended into an interpretation of which specific methods are most worthwhile and potent in actually reaching consumers and companies, taking historical facts into consideration and finally deducing a series of lessons from which industries might benefit.

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