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Apparel purchases and labor rights

State/Local 'Sweatfree' Legislation
In 2001, the State of California passed landmark 'anti-sweatshop' legislation.  Assembly Bill 633 was designed to get public-sector purchasers in the state to adopt “sweatfree” policies for the purchase of clothes, shoes, and other apparel. 

California was the first of several states to try and prevent tax dollars from subsidizing sweatshops and abusive child labor.  Today, seven states and scores of cities have anti-sweatshop purchasing programs in place. 

In 2003, community activists, labor leaders, and state/local purchasing professionals organized themselves into a broader national organization, called SweatFree Communities.  SweatFree Communities has an excellent website with a range of materials helping states, cities, and school districts move to purchasing models that support better-workplace, higher-wage jobs. 

Also worth checking out is SweatShop Watch, a nonprofit focused primarily on ending labor abuses in California's garment sector.  For a comprehensive listing of 'anti-sweatshop' organizations look here.

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