After efforts in recent years to rebrand itself as a more ethical and socially responsible company, Gap is once again being criticized for practicing child labor. Despite launching rigorous social audit systems in 2004 to weed out such practices, the system is still being abused by its subcontractors.
After an article in yesterday's The Observer said children in India as young as 10 were beaten and made to hand-sew clothes, often for no wages, the company has made moves to bar thousands of clothes en route to stores. Gap said it was unaware that the clothes were made by underage workers and has stopped all work from the sweatshop in Delhi so that a full investigation can be conducted.
This newest revelation adds fuel for those campaigning to stop Gap from outsourcing its labor to the developing world, which is increasingly popular for Western fashion chains.