In the article “Zara accused in Brazil sweatshop inquiry” published by Stephen Burgen and Tom Philips on Guardian.co.uk on 18 August 2011, we learn that Zara’s parent company, Inditex, has 52 charges against them, because one of Zara’s sub-contractors in São Paolo Brazil, AHA, were using a factory to produce clothes for Zara. As it turned out the factory was a sweatshop,
The Brazilian prosecutor Giuliana Cassiano Orlandi said, “AHA is a logistical extension of it’s main client, Zara Brazil. The company is responsible for its employees. Its raison d’être is making clothes and it follows it must know who is producing its garments.”
Companies that have a code of conduct, have a duty to follow an ethical set of rules when they are conducting business. Otherwise, it can have massive ramifications not only for the company, but also for the workers, investors and everyone else involved in the company.
Big companies like Nike and H&M have previously been accused of using sweatshops for the manufacturing of their clothes. An outrage from the public soon followed, and the companies had to do some major damage control, to contain the scandal and regain the trust of the consumers.