Dirty Threads, Dangerous Factories

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Health and Safety in Los Angeles’ Fashion Industry

Los Angeles, which houses the largest cut and sew apparel base in the U.S., is the center of the country’s garment manufacturing industry. While a number of recent studies have focused on the wage and hour labor experiences of California’s garment workers, there is an absence of research on the specific health and safety conditions faced by these workers in Los Angeles. Dirty Threads, Dangerous Factories: Health and Safety in Los Angeles’ Fashion Industry is a direct response to the concerns expressed by garment workers and worker advocates and provides insights into the health, safety and environmental conditions of this sector.

Los Angeles Garment Worker Center worker organizers and worker leaders surveyed 307 workers in the greater L.A. area between June and December of 2015. This survey and subsequent focus group sessions with workers paint a descriptive portrait of the health and safety landscape of L.A.’s garment sector. Our findings indicate that the conditions in the city’s garment workplaces are deeply unsafe and unhealthy for many of those who make what is stocked at popular clothing shops and department stores.

The report is a collaboration between the Garment Worker Center (GWC), the UCLA Center for Labor Research and Education (UCLA Labor Center), and UCLA Labor Occupational Safety and Health (UCLA LOSH), generously funded in part by the California Wellness Foundation.

For media inquiries:

Download Executive Summary Here

Download Full Report Here

Los Angeles, California is home to about 45,000 garment workers. Most work in the heart of Downtown L.A. in small rundown, overcrowded shops where health and safety violations occur daily. This short video features Garment Worker Center members sharing their experiences and ways in which they are prioritizing their health.

Below you will find infographic images for download. You may also click here to download all images.



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