"In the past, things were produced to meet the needs of consumers. A retailer would estimate what they needed and a supplier would create it. There was some elasticity between supply and demand but there wasn't this massive over production and wastefulness because things were being made with someone in mind.
Now, there's an entirely different mentality. These massive stores force their product into the market. They just make stuff and they push it out. And because they're making so much, so fast, if it doesn't sell then that's when you hear stories of the likes of H&M slashing millions of garments and throwing them in landfills because there's nowhere for them to go. That's the worst thing that has happened to fashion worldwide - the mass consumer fast fashion. The big category killers.
It's impossible for these big retailers to be ethical when they're telling their suppliers they want to be able to sell a product in their shops for a really low price. The supplier can't make it for that, so how then does that factory pay its workers reasonable wages? It's the price in the British store that decides whether or not they get a fair wage - and that's what people don't understand. Commerce is what drives down their wages. It's the fact that for Zara to sell their garments in NZ for some stupid price like $15 a garment, after being flown halfway around the world, someone has had to pay a price for that."
(Conversation with PR Consultant Paul Blomfield.)