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The Beast File - Apple

After an Apple enquiry, Foxconn introduces counseling, cuts worker's weeks to 60 hours, and strings nets to catch suicide attempts. 137 Wintek (contractor) workers get sick as a result of working with the n-hexane chemical. These workers say Apple is lying when it claims that they all were since cured, and say that neither Wintek, nor Apple have paid for follow-up medical treatment. Many of your gadgets are built on third world labour. One estimate calculated that if iPads were built by American workers, they would retail for $14, 970 each. iTunes blocks apps which donate straight to charities. Apple has had no philanthropic division since it was shut by Steve Jobs in 1997*. Jobs has been called to answer a...

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Where Does Linen Come From?

How Is Linen Made? To make a smooth fabric of high quality, most fabrics need long fibres (and staples).  The quality of the finished linen product is also often dependent upon growing conditions and harvesting techniques.  For flax, to generate the longest possible fibres, it is either hand-harvested by pulling up the entire plant, or stalks are cut very close to the root.  After harvesting, the seeds are removed through a mechanized process called “rippling” or by winnowing.    The fibres must then be loosened from the stalk. This is achieved through a process called "retting", which uses bacteria to decompose the pectin that binds the fibres together. Natural ‘retting’ methods take place in tanks and pools, or directly in...

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Who Pays for Cheap Clothes?

Something new is sweeping through the high street. Whereas five years ago, style-conscious teenagers would never be seen, like, dead in a bargain clothes shop, today the Saturday afternoon high street is awash with Primark bags and their proud owners boasting the bargains they have found. What everyone wants to know is: do their contents come from sweatshops?The four companies this report focuses on, Asda, Tesco, Primark and Matalan, are to fashion what McDonalds and Burger King are to food: mass produced, hassle-free, fast, popular, and reliant on exploitation down the supply chain to keep things that way. It asks what impact this trend is having on workers' rights, and challenges these retailers to ensure that workers are not paying...

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