Sweatshop Labor is Wrong. Unless the Shoes are Cute.

The title sounds absolutely ridiculous when recited out loud. Unfortunately, this statement is indisputably true, based on cognitive science research conducted and published in 2013 by a collection of behavioral scientists. The reason this statement was proven true was because of the phenomenon known as "motivated reasoning." With motivated reasoning, we decide what we want, then we come up with the reasons to support or defend it. Without going in to the gory details of the actual study we've decided to make an easy to follow graphic that illustrates the idea of motivated reasoning, and the role it plays in the fashion industry, by using two events from the 2016 USA Presidential Election.

Hilary Clinton says she "never received nor sent any material that was marked classified" on her private email server while secretary of state.
Clinton Supporters Clinton Detractors
The information wasn't important.
Nobody was harmed.
It was an innocent mistake, with no malicious intent.
She lied about sending classified emails.
She compromised national security.
She tried to cover up her lies by deleting emails.
Donald Trump is recorded saying that he "grab them by the p#*$y," when referring to women.
Trump Supporters Trump Detractors
Taken out of context.
He wasn't being serious.
He made a mistake but doesn't reflect his character.
It has nothing to do with his ability to be President.
He has no respect for women.
He condones sexually assaulting women.
He has no moral compass.

What does motivated reasoning have to do with sweatshops?

Sweatshop labor, and employment of young children for unfair wages is wrong.
Highly Attractive/Coveted Shoes Unattractive/Undesirable Shoes
It is their choice to work.
They would otherwise be unemployed.
Their country already has a low standard of living.
They are likely grateful to have a job.
Sweatshops destroy local culture in favor of western goods.
Sweatshops exploit women and children.
Sweatshops value profit over human decency.
Sweatshops pose health risks and destroy the environment.

Unfortunately, we as consumers decide what is moral based on how much we want something. Furthermore, the more distance we can put between ourselves and the unethical behavior, the easier it is to perform that behavior. If we actually toured a sweatshop in Bangledesh there is no way we would actually support those factories and buy goods produced by them. However from the comfort of our local shopping mall, or even our living room couch, we don't see what goes on behind the scenes. The shoes just arrive at our doorstep looking as sick as they do in the pictures, or "cute," if they are a ladies shoe.

Source: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0749597813000149