The industry in Latin America, brands that transform in real time, Zara.

CORUNA, SPAIN - JULY 20. Amancio Ortega, founder of Inditex (Zara empire) on July 20,2018 ©Shutterstock

The textile industry constitutes one of the oldest productive activities in Latin America.

In the Andes and Mesoamerica, textile production was very important in pre-Hispanic times and continued to be so during the centuries of colonial rule.

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the importance of the sector did not decrease.

During the stage of industrial growth induced by exports, the textile branch led sectoral growth in Brazil and Mexico, two of the largest economies in the region.

Hear all about it on my May13th broadcast.

Please explore this article by BuzzFeed News.

Zara’s Billionaire Owner Was Praised For Helping In The Coronavirus Crisis. Workers In Myanmar Paid The Price.

At the height of the pandemic in Spain this year, Zara’s parent company, Inditex,closed more than 3,000 stores. Ortega pivoted his fashion empire to making hospital gowns andmasks, and according to Forbes, flew in medical supplies worth millions from China. Ortega also made sure that Zara’s Spanish employees received their full salaries during the crisis — all of which won him plenty of great press and support in Spain. On March 28, ambulance crews gathered outside his home to wish him a happy birthday. But Ortega’s generosity and concern for Zara’s workers stopped at the borders of Spain.

While Ortega showed generosity and concern for workers in Spain, BuzzFeed News has spoken to employees from two factories that form part of Zara’s supply chain in Myanmar. Inditex does not publicly disclose the list of factories it sources clothing from, but here workers put in 11-hour shifts, six days a week, for as little as $3.50–$4.74 per day. As people sang “Happy Birthday” to Ortega from their balconies in Spain, more than 500 workers at the two factories were laid off when they asked to be supplied with durable masks and for social distancing to be introduced to protect them from the coronavirus. One of the factories, Myan Mode, fired every single member of a workers’ union, along with a woman who had complained of being sexually harassed at the factory last year.

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Carolina Chavez's clothes: Jacket by Everyone, white t-shirt by Cloth & Co.