On Last Week Tonight, John Oliver turned his gimlet eye on fashion (a.k.a. fun you can buy).
Americans buy roughly 64 items of clothing per person per year, according to Oliver. That fashion habit comes thanks to the low prices available at fast-fashion retailers like H&M, Zara and Forever 21 — nationwide outfitters that, according to Oliver, allow “Midwestern tweens to dress like fortysomething alcoholics attending the funeral of a Tel Aviv nightclub owner.”
But there’s another dark side to cheap clothing, according to Oliver. When H&M sells a dress for $4.95 — which Oliver notes was 7¢ more expensive than a DVD of Ghosts of Girlfriends Past — and yet the CEOs of H&M and Zara are some of the richest men in the world, it’s clear something is awry. On Last Week Tonight, Oliver took fast-fashion companies, including Walmart and Gap, to task for the fact that sweatshops and child labor are still commonly used to manufacture high-street clothing.
Then, for a lesson in manufacturing oversight, Oliver kindly sent extremely cheap lunches of indeterminate origin to the CEOs of fashion companies that employ cheap labor.
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