Debate: The Ethical Sweatshop - American Apparel

Collaboration between CPH:DOX film festival and CBS Center for Corporate Values and Responsibility (CVR)

Mandag, 13 november, 2006 - 16:00 to 18:00

Director: Marc Cadieux

Political and social activists no longer have to resort to Jesus sandals and baggy sweaters. Recently key figures in the fashion world have proven that social responsibility and commercial success can go hand in hand.

American Apparel is a prime example. As more and more American clothing companies move their factories to low-pay countries, American Apparel has been hugely successful while maintaining responsible production in the US - downtown LA to be precise. All their factory workers are paid double the minimum wage, and they and their families are given cheap health insurance as part of an extensive and generous company package. As well as having a strong profile as a socially conscious company, American Apparel is also famous for its controversial and highly sexual advertising campaigns.

Among the subjects up for debate are: How can other companies learn from American Apparel's experience of combining business and social responsibility? What internal and external interests and investments do such companies have to negotiate? Is the apparently happy marriage of convenience between profit and ethics here to stay, or is it a passing trend?

The following participants will each contribute their own unique knowledge of the issues at stake:

  • Rasmus Ibfelt from the strategic design bureau e-Types, who advises Danish designers like Mads Nørgaard and Noir

  • Associate Professors Steen Vallentin and Mette Morsing from Copenhagen Business School's Center for Corporate Values and Responsibility (CVR)

  • American Apparel's Communications Director Cynthia Semon

The event opens with a 30-minute film about American Apparel and is a collaboration between CPH:DOX and CVR.

Sidst opdateret: Communications // 12/10/2012