Using the Local L Brands Store as a Base for Investigative Journalism

Lately, I have been considering using the local L Brands store as a base for investigative journalism.

One idea that I may pursue is that of investigating the working conditions of the individuals who produce the apparel sold at L Brands (and other major apparel retailers). To be sure, other investigative journalists have pursued that line – sometimes to the extent of visiting the actual factories in places like Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and so on. But I always get underwhelmed with the results of their work. Whereas big-time retailers like L Brands may have mechanisms for ensuring that the people who produce their apparel live well, I have doubts when it comes to the smaller retailers.

Another idea I may pursue is that of investigating the living and working conditions of the rank and file L Brands employees (the ones who actually work in the stores). I could interview the employees on their work schedules, paystubs, benefits and other perks they get after gaining associate limited brands login access. The idea would be to find out whether they get livable wages, whether they have opportunities for self-improvement, whether their work schedules allow for work-life balance… and so on.

Yet another idea I may pursue is that of figuring out where the individuals who buy the latest fashion items at stores like L Brands get their money. Like if you find an individual earning the minimum wage being able to afford the latest fashions – surely, beneath that state of affairs may be a good investigative story. But one has to remember that there are folks who have other financial cushions, meaning that they can afford to spend all their money on fashion items. And there are folks who draw so much joy from fashion that even if most of their money went into apparel, they would view it as money well spent! So it is important to undertake proper investigations with an open mind, rather than jumping to conclusions.

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