The phrase, “a world without strangers”, implies a world where neither nationalities, class, ethnicity nor gender divide people. It is a utopia that everyone wishes for. For Giordano, this widely held ideal is one of the primary ideas behind its marketing image. The phrase is meant to be consistent with the simplicity and modesty of Giordano clothing and also gives people a sense of familiarity. The phrase is familiar with Hong Kong shoppers, and its popularity contributed to the quick rise and development of the Giordano name. The publicly traded firm, Giordano, is a model of a successful, domestic Hong Kong clothing line.
However, it turns out that this ideal of “a world without strangers” is merely a marketing strategy, and in its actual production practices, Giordano is far from achieving it. For Giordano, this “world without strangers” is only conceived for their high-spending, affluent consumers, and has nothing to do with the workers who sacrifice their youth, blood and sweat to manufacture Giordano clothing. Workers are the exception, the strangers shut out from this “world without strangers”, subsisting on a tiny link of the manufacturing chain.
To lower its manufacturing costs, Giordano has outsourced their manufacturing to factories in mainland China. As a result, the workers at these factories are exploited and are forced to work in environments that are in violation of the law. At the five Giordano suppliers we surveyed, working hours were the most serious violation of workers’ rights. During peak seasons, workers work 13 hours a day, 7 days a week. These factories violate, for instance, the Chinese law requiring employers to guarantee workers 1 day of rest each week. Likewise, most factories also illegally withhold overtime wages.