Why Are People Willing to Fork Out a Fortune for Shoes That Cost Little to Make?

From Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/media/148376/why_are_people_willing_to_fork_out_a_fortune_for_shoes_that_cost_little_to_make/

By Anneli Rufus

October 1, 2010

Shoes spur cravings, compulsions and crimes as no other clothing does, and the true cost of making them is just as surprising.

Shoes are fashion’s version of drugs.

More than any other article of clothing, shoes alter the way we move, walk and feel. Shoes spur cravings, compulsions and crimes as no other clothing does. Some people can’t have sex without seeing or touching shoes. (Know any hat or tube-sock fetishists?) The fashion industry knows this. It tells us that shoes can improve our health, skill, speed: that, in effect, shoes are medicine. The industry tells us shoes can render us irresistible. Thus it knows it can charge us anything.

It also knows we can’t go DIY with shoes, the way we can with drawstring totebags and elastic-waisted skirts. When we buy shoes, we’re paying for technology — and design, transit, marketing, and manufacturing that (just as with real drugs) occurs far away under conditions we’d rather not envision as we buckle strappy sandals as seen on TV.

In 2005, the National Labor Committee and China Labor Watch reported that Chinese factory workers making New Balance shoes earned 40 cents an hour, which dropped to 32 cents after mandatory room-and-board deductions.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/media/148376/why_are_people_willing_to_fork_out_a_fortune_for_shoes_that_cost_little_to_make/

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