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Saturday, 13 August 2016

Fast fashion helped the planet’s richest men get that way on the back’s of the poorest

Want to get rich? 

Build a clothing empire based on aggressive expansion, breakneck turnarounds, cheap materials, and even cheaper labor. “Fast fashion,” as Quartz reported on Tuesday, has established the fortunes of some of the planet’s richest people at the expense of its poorest.

Chief among the billionaires is Amancio Ortega, founder of Inditex, whose position as the world’s largest apparel business stems largely from its ownership of the high-street behemoth Zara. Valued at $74.4 billion as of press time, Ortega is not only the richest person in Spain but also all of Europe. For one brief, shining moment last year, Ortega surpassed Bill Gates to become the richest man on Earth, though he quite comfortably holds court today at second place.



Stefan Persson, chairman of H&M, is Sweden’s richest person with a nest egg of $19.9 billion, according to Forbes

With a net worth of $17.7 billion, Tadashi Yanai, founder of Fast Retailing, which runs Uniqlo, is the wealthiest man in Japan.

The families behind C&A in the Netherlands, along with Primark in Ireland haven’t done too shabbily for themselves either. 

Their success, per Quartz, largely hinges on the fact that they’re faster and cheaper than their rivals. “Many manufacture in low-wage countries, where their clothes are made by some of the lowest-paid workers in the global economy, and have faced accusations of abuses,” it wrote. 

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