It is fair to say that Amancio, the former CEO of Inditex, is considered to be a national hero in Spain after having outplayed the game of being a retailer strategist. This glorification was thanks to his actions concerning Covid-19 complications which were threatening to affect lives of the Spanish population, including Inditex employers who are working in the Inditex stores and distribution centrals. As a result of having closed more than 3000 stores during the midst of the pandemic, Ortega pivoted from controlling his fashion empire to launch the supply of medical equipment worth of millions from China. This led to the imposing purchase of medical material worth of 63 million euros to contribute to combatting the Coronavirus. Including 1450 respirators, three million masks for health workers, million test-ing kits and other medical equip-ment.
The generosity stops however when crossing the European continental border. At the locations of the actual manufacturing industries, exploitation namely surfaces. “Workers put in 11-hour shifts six days a week earning 3.50 to 4.74 dollars per day.”
Meanwhile, the list of factories it sources clothing from, remains hidden. In other words, the people who are actually paying for the low prices in fast fashion industry are kept out of sight and remain therefore out of proper concern. While people were praising and singing “happy birthday” on the balconies in A Coruña, the voices of the manufacturers on the other side of the world remained silenced. When more than 500 workers in the two Inditex factories in Myanmar voiced the demand to be supplied with masks to wear during their shifts, they faced the response of being fired. Alongside, every single member of the workers union was fired after reports came in from a woman who had been sexually harassed last year. The possibility to organise however, is non-existing since physically rising up collectively would go against the measure of keeping social distance. In other words, the western weekly constructive wardrobe changes of consumers go at the expense of the continuation of the manufac-turers oppressive working environments.
Renouncing damage does not have to revolve around an imposed rupture which is directed by a market. Considering the moment of proposing new year’s resolutions, it could be a convenient time to reevaluate the implication of “clean sheets”. What fit is considered to be “fresh”, when people who are selling them are having blood on their hands? There is a tendency in which the glorification of heroes, overshadows the essential actors who are allowing the hero to be one. A new year could start fresh, if there can be start in acknowledging those essential actors, by ignoring that presentation needs to revolve around showing up anytime polished and sleek. Frankly said, why don’t we start this week?