Every industry has its own conventions of conducting business. The diamond business has long been dominated by Jews who conduct enormous transactions based on personal relationships and a handshake. Until recently, this was no different from our own although evidently, judging from this recent news story, the system is not without defect. There’s always opportunists and evil doers in our midst, thus the value of referrals and relationships. I think that many of the problems between contractors and DEs today is really a resentment on the part of the “old school”, that DEs are ignoring established standards of behavior and practice hence the lack of contracts governing production relationships. Accordingly, those DEs who do insist on these instruments are minimally perceived as disrespectful. Similarly, there exists a conflict between long established manufacturers and their suppliers versus newer companies using those same suppliers who fail to respect traditional standards of practice.
Returning to my arcane interest of Jewish influence in the garment industry, I am curious about the connection between the product development cycle and market dates; these schedules are advantageous for the observance of Jewish holidays and timed disadvantageously for Christian holidays (the most strenuous push for Fall takes place just before Christmas). Then, there’s the definitive double edged sword of Jewish ownership of plants juxtaposed with the labor movement, again historically Jewish.
As I said, just musing on arcane topics. I note the film Dressing America Jews in the Garment Industry is currently in development. I’ll keep you posted once I get a release date. Regarding labor and Jewry, a thought provoking review of the book Sweated Work, Weak Bodies: Anti-Sweatshop Campaigns and Languages of Labor is here. Also see the recent article, Shmatte Chic: The rise—finally!—of Jewish fashion.