About the Industry

Los Angeles is the nation’s garment production capital and the city’s largest manufacturing sector. Over 45,000 workers cut, sew and finish garments locally, a workforce comprised primarily of Latino/a and Asian immigrants. The Los Angeles garment industry is notorious for operating within a complex, multi-layered system of fierce competition, in which thousands of small factories compete to obtain contracts with manufacturers by providing high volume and quick turnaround.  To do so, contract owners “sweat” work out of their employees while garment manufacturers and retailers reap tremendous profits and routinely deny responsibility for the conditions in which their garments were produced.  Thus, workplace conditions for garment workers are abysmal: 60% are denied minimum wage, 93% are denied overtime wages, and most endure poor health and safety conditions.

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