Macy's Confirms It Never Did Business With Queens Sweatshop

Last week, news broke that a sweatshop in Queens, NYC was producing clothing for several large U.S. retailers, while overworking its mainly Chinese immigrant employees and cheating them out of wages. At the time, Macy’s announced it was cooperating with New York’s Department of Labor and investigating the matter internally. Now the company has confirmed that it never did business with the sweatshop—in fact, it investigated it twice in 2007 while evaluating potential suppliers and rejected it for shoddy record keeping. Use your crazy Macy’s coupons all you want, readers.

From Macy’s own press release yesterday afternoon:

An internal investigation conducted by Macy’s, however, discovered that no Macy’s goods were found in Jin Shun. But a factory named Zheng Da Inc. in Long Island City, which also was inspected by the Department of Labor and also cited for labor law violations, was making apparently counterfeit goods with labels from a Macy’s private brand. These goods, which were neither ordered nor authorized by Macy’s, were private brand prints from previous seasons and of inferior quality to those made to Macy’s specifications. Macy’s, Inc. is considering legal action against the owners of the Zheng Da factory for unauthorized manufacturing of counterfeit goods under a label owned by Macy’s.

Moreover, independent third-party monitors retained by Macy’s twice inspected the Jin Shun factory in 2007 as Macy’s was evaluating potential suppliers for its private brand merchandise. In both instances, the Jin Shun facility was rejected and removed from consideration because of incomplete employment record-keeping. All Macy’s vendors are required to conform to the company’s stringent Vendor/Supplier Code of Conduct that sets out specific standards and requirements for any vendor doing business with Macy’s.

As for the other companies involved in the story—the Gap, Banana Republic, Urban Apparel, and Victoria’s Secret—we’ve seen no similar statements so far.

“Macy’s Goods Were Not Produced in Long Island City Sweatshop” [Marketwatch]
(Photo: Eddie~S)

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  1. ChipMcDougal says:

    That’s ashame, clothes feel better when you know they came from a pair of 5 year old hands…

  2. SkokieGuy says:

    Okay, well most Chicagoans still hate Macy’s, but bravo for their diligence in avoiding this hell hole.

  3. mariospants says:

    Still, it’s possible that a brand of clothing they resell might have come from a manufacturer that uses said sweatshop.

    I wonder if there’s a “Sweatshirts in the sweatshops” rhyme or limerick we can make for this occasion.

  4. GothGirl says:

    I do love paying $250.00 for a top that cost $1.25 to make though…

  5. DjDynasty says:

    I’m still trying to figure out just how would one make clothing of inferior quality of macy’s private label shit?

  6. mike says:

    This is the dark and often overlooked side of capitalism. We all want something that’s good quality and cheap. But many of us don’t know or don’t care about the non-monetary costs to this (child labor being one).

    At some point, our beliefs must match up with our actions.

  7. Carso says:

    Hooray!

  8. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    Personally, I have no problem with sweath shops and slave labor. I however have no soul and am going to hell.

  9. bohemian says:

    @DjDynasty: Ask JcPenney. They seem to have figured out how to do worse.

  10. bohemian says:

    @linus: I don’t have a problem paying more for clothing that is of good quality and won’t fall apart in a month. I refuse to pay triple digits for poorly made, unethically produced, cat butt ugly clothing just because it has a certain name on it.

    I made a point of trying to buy fewer, but better made more classic types of clothing. I am willing to pay considerably more for it. Sadly everything I find is either crappy fabric and construction or some bizarre fad style that will be gone in a year.

  11. Illiterati says:

    I’ve been saying for years that “made in the USA” doesn’t mean it was made at the standards those words imply. You don’t even have to get on the 7 train to LIC, just wander around the Garment District and you’ll find plenty of these sweatshops.

  12. golfinggiraffe says:

    …on the other hand, you have people like my mother, whose family was bordering on starvation-poverty level, and said that if it weren’t for sweatshops she wouldn’t have had a job when she was a kid, to help the family. Understand, she’s not saying they’re great; but everytime I mention this sort of thing she says, “If they were forced to pay higher wages, they would have simply moved the factory to somewhere else, and then the workers get no money at all.”

  13. golfinggiraffe says:

    (forgot to include the fact that this wasn’t in the US)