What happens to Asia's workers when robots make the clothes?

COLOMBO • For many years, discussion of the global garment industry has been dominated by the following question: Where were your clothes made, and by whom? But today, there is a more relevant question: How were your clothes made, and by what?

What you wear is going high-tech. After decades of labour-intensive production by workers in the global south, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics are replacing humans on the factory floor. But while these shifts will bring new benefits to consumers - such as faster delivery and custom clothing - they will come with costs.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 16, 2018, with the headline 'What happens to Asia's workers when robots make the clothes?'. Print Edition | Subscribe