A new sweater from Target is causing uproar and sparking debate over whether or not it was made ethically.
The item is the store’s Wild Fable brand “Women’s Crochet Cardigan”. The sweater is decorated with floral patterns on the front and sleeves. It is also affordably priced at just $35.
However, TikTok creator @seatrick is calling out Target for the sweater, saying there’s no way it was ethically produced if it’s selling for that price.
@seatrick Thanks @mattrose1312 ♬ original sound – SeaTrick
The video, which has nearly 80,000 views, points out that crochet clothes usually have to be made by hand. There is apparently no machine that can replicate a crochet pattern easily.
Another user, @MattRose1312, calculated how long it would take a skilled crocheter to make this sweater and figured it would take over 17 hours.
“To get it at that $35 they would have to pay $1.40 an hour,” @seatrick points out. “I’m going to go further because that’s the final sale price. That number is actually much lower because they’re not just paying for labor and materials.”
The people in the comment section of the video are unhappy with the quick mode processes.
“The United States has never developed an economy that is not based on an abundant amount of slavery and exploitation,” one user wrote.
“That goes for pretty much all targeted clothing,” adds another person.
Some have complained that fast fashion retailers’ low prices are hurting freelance crocheters and artisans who want to be paid fairly for their work.
“That’s why no one wants me for anything I crochet because they’re gasping at the price I’ll charge them. they always say…I’ll go somewhere else,” one person wrote.
To which @seatrick replied: “Yes [grimace emoji] Low priced items like this harm the whole market in this way.
TikTok user @seatrick mentions that the cardigan’s description doesn’t say if it was handmade, but commenters who claim to have seen it in stores say the tag says the sweater is handmade. the hand.
In another video on the same sweater, a woman (@erstell.knots) points out that a Target support staff member confirmed the garment is handmade in the “Q&A” section on the sweater. The answer is listed under the item’s page on Target’s website. Her video has reached over 36,000 views.
@erstell.knots #greenscreenvideo @target admits these are hand crocheted and cannot be machine made. #crochet #target #handmade #fiberart #fastfashionsucks ♬ original sound – April – Crochet Designer
While some are mad that Target is underpaying workers, others think the company might be lying about the sweaters being handmade.
“There are industrial machines from a company called Comez that can replicate crochet stitches. Looking at these I don’t think they are handmade,” @GoFrogYourself speculated under the @erstell.knots video.
The Daily Dot reached out to @seatrick via Instagram message and @erstell.knots on Instagram for comment. We also emailed Target.
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*First published: February 5, 2022, 2:28 p.m. CST
Elizabeth Rose started her career chasing after celebrities in New York. Now she’s getting the inside scoop on TikTok stars and trends. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and her work has appeared on ETOnline, the New York Daily News and InTouch Magazine.