Sweatshop Labor, Mega-Suppliers, and Human Trafficking: Empowering Consumer Action through Knowledge, Persuasive Technology, and Pending Legislation

Date of Award


Degree Type

Archival Copy

First Advisor

Audrey Kali


This thesis discusses sweatshops and their existence in the large-scale apparel industry. Two primary factors are explored as contributing to the use of sweatshop labor: 1) Mega suppliers, manufacturing conglomerates who make it impossible to track the actual factory source of any given item of clothing; 2) Human Trafficking, which allows sweatshop labor to thrive by supplying factories with workers. In search of a solution against sweatshop labor beyond the boycott, this paper proposes the development of a new mobile device application (app) that will empower consumers. Utilizing research from the new field of “persuasive technology,” Manufacture Justice is envisioned as an app that will educate consumers about issues in the apparel manufacturing supply chain and guide them towards legislation that can bring the world closer to the end of sweatshops.

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