reverse economics

a couple of weeks ago, my youngest daughter came home with a new set of trousers
“great ! only 17,99€ dad !!”
not bad – but it felt a bit strange and i started calculating
please follow me in a reverse calculation of the cost of the trousers from a spanish brand and made in bangladesh

17,99€
minus 21% vat
= 14,86€ for :

  • 500m2 of shop space in a Namur prime location
  • advertising / photography / model / website / online shop
  • at least 10 full or half time staff
  • local taxes
  • transport costs from central depot to shop
  • treatment by staff
  • transport costs from antwerp harbour to central depot
  • designers
  • administrative people
  • the bosses and their large cars
  • EU import taxes
  • transport by ship from bangladesh
  • transport to harbour
  • packing
  • factory workers and factory
  • local taxes
  • transport
  • cloths (68% cotton, 28% polyester, 4% elastane)
  • colouring of the cloths
  • weavers
  • transport
  • the cotton workers

so i wonder what the cotton workers have received from the 14,86€ ?
knowing also that for the january online sales – ‘everything must go !’ – the same trousers were discounted to 7€ – vat included with free shipping to your home (!!!!????)

the same trousers made entirely in belgium would probably costs around 100€ or more

i know i know – globalisation is giving some bangladesh people a small income – but again at what price ?
shouldn t this big spanish company or any company using remote labour be asked – if not forced – to detail how they can price that sharply ?

thinking about this all – i feel really awkward…

i wouldn t mind spend a couple of euros more to the same trousers if i was sure the bangladesh workers would get a decent loan

but who can assure those extra € would not disappear in the pockets of the sub-contractors ?

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