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Materials Study_ general information_ word - SACE Board of South


									Stage 2 Design and Technology Studies Support Materials Annotated Work Sample Assessment Component 1: Technological Investigation

This assessment component is designed to assess primarily Learning Outcomes 1, 2, and 7. It is weighted at 30%. Students undertake a critical investigation of selected technological products/processes/systems and associated issues in a given environment. Students investigate an industry or industries with a focus similar to that of the industry or industries chosen for Assessment Component 3: Product Development. Students also explore the impact of technology on the individual, society, and the environment now and in the future. The technological investigation should be up to a maximum of 2000 words. (See above for information on the SACE Wordcount Policy.) Criteria for Judging Performance The student‟s performance in the technological investigation will be judged by the extent to which he or she demonstrates: investigation  How effectively has an appropriate industry and issue been identified?  How thoroughly has the intended purpose of the industry been investigated? critical discussion  How effectively does the student investigate the making of designed products in current industrial practice?  How effectively does the student critically discuss the technological processes and their effects? critical analysis  How clearly does the student identify effects of technology on the individual, society, and/or the environment?  How well does the student investigate consequences of these effects?  How effectively does the student critically analyse the technological effects? communication  How clear and concise is the information presented?  How appropriate is the terminology used?  To what extent does the student relate the discussion to audience and purpose? This is an example of a „B‟ standard piece of student work. Marker Comments Research Investigation  Relevant topic selected although wording of topic poorly structured.  Identifies relevant issue.  Identifies major functions of industry, describing some features. Knowledge and Analysis critical discussion  Well researched overview (primary & secondary) of production processes.  Limited technological references.  Sound comparative commentary, some analytical details and recommendations. critical analysis  Sound depth of exploration of effects, although not technologically based.  Clear evidence of ability to use investigation process to highlight effects with some comments on consequences.  Range of ideas used to provide analysis of effects. Communication  Logical presentation of facts which demonstrate ability to distinguish relevant facts.  Appropriate language use, relevant to topic.  Requirement of task not clearly directly at technological effects. The SACE Board of South Australia has permission from the student to use this work. Any errors in the original work have been replicated in this exemplar. Images may have been removed for copyright reasons. Some of the names in this essay have been changed to protect privacy
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Stage 2 – Design and Technology Studies – Technological investigation

Over the years the clothing industry has seen a lot of changes, not only in fashion trends but in the way clothes are made. This report examines the growing development of production in clothing industries and the ways in which it is produced, either by large scale mass production or small scale production. It also examines the positive and negative impact of each. The demand for cheap labour but quality material is increasing due to many companies expanding worldwide, but needing to remain competitive. The clothing industry has a lot of information to offer, but true facts about where, how and by who products are made is very secretive, therefore information for this report is limited. „Mass production is the name given to the method of producing goods in large quantities at relatively low cost per unit. The mass production process itself is characterized by high volume, a highly organized flow of materials through various stages of manufacturing, careful supervision of quality standards, and precise division of labour, with lower costs expected as volume rises.‟ 1 To make it worthwhile, mass production requires mass consumption. Today companies are replacing people with machines that can work 24 hours a day without rest, making few mistakes. A lot of major brand companies such as Billabong, Quiksilver and Nike mass produce to maximise their productivity. For example Billabong uses both Australian and overseas factory‟s but still pay the award rates. Others venture overseas to make as much profit as possible by using cheap labour in sweatshops.

Nike, one of the largest manufacturers in the world, employ people to work in low conditions on minimal wages. The majority of the employees work 10 – 15 hours a day with no breaks and can be a very young age. In what is known as a sweatshop. The majority of their products are made overseas in countries such as Indonesia and Vietnam, impacting on the economy and the society a great deal. Many of the employees can develop (RSI) Repetitive Strain Injury, eye strain, boredom, low self esteem and lack of interest in their work, all common among sweatshop workers. Nike is definitely a mass production company, and few of the employees dare to complain about the environment they work in. If they did they would more than likely lose their job and therefore risk not being able to put food on the table to feed the family. The wage they are offered is sometimes not even enough to cover the essentials to survive. These statistics show the rate that some sweatshop workers are paid: 2


Daily (10 Hour Day)

Monthly (25 working days per month)

Canada Haiti China

$5 $.218 $.136

$50 $2.18 $1.36

$1250.00 $54.00 $34.00

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Nike is one of the most profitable companies in the world but still pay their workers the lowest rates out of all the employing countries. Unlike Billabong, Nike doesn‟t own any of their manufacturing plants, instead they contract their work to overseas factory owners. Many customers continue to purchase Nike as it is known for its quality. The fact that it is made in disgraceful conditions doesn‟t seem to stop people. Nike does not hold themselves responsible for any of the sweatshop workers and mistreated employees as they only “market the product, not make them”. 3 Just because surf wear is made overseas doesn‟t mean it is all made in sweatshops. For instance Billabong is also the creator of Palmers Surf, Von Zipper brands, Kustom footwear, Nixon Watches brands, as well as Element. Billabong was established in Queensland in 1973 by Gordon Merchant. It originally only made board shorts. Today they are accountable for designing, producing and distributing a wide range of surf and extreme sports wear including swimwear, jewellery, belts, backpacks, skateboards and sunglasses and are currently the leading surf wear apparel brand in Australia. Billabong products are distributed to over 3000 outlets worldwide. The product range consists of over 2200 items in Australasia, over 1300 items in North America and 1200 items in Europe. Billabong appears to have a very positive impact on the industry as after researching the company there is no evidence of sweatshop use. They are a well-developed company and have many staff in many different factories working with new and advanced machines to produce their products in the most effective way. As Billabong is distributed all around the world it is necessary for them to have their products made in a number of countries. This minimises time and transport costs. “Australia‟s excellent reputation within the surf, swim, street and casual wear sectors means that brands such as Billabong, Roxy, Quiksilver, Rip Curl and Mambo are highly successful in the market”.4 Australian designers are also making inroads internationally with world-class, cost competitive designs. Aussie surf wear brands have moved beyond the beach and also produce gear for extreme sports, such as skateboarding, wakeboarding and snowboarding. 5 In contrast small-scale mass production is the production of limited quantities. This type of production is perfect for a small business as it is specific and meets the needs of the consumer. This market is known as a niche market, where stock is made to order. This is when the retailer stocks only clothing styles and sizes they know will sell so minimal stock is wasted.

Devon industries is a company that design and make clothing for schools. It is a long established South Australian family company based in Somerton Park. A major uniform supplier, they service over 400 schools. In doing so they develop long-term relationships based on trust and reliability, they supply high

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quality garments that are outstanding value for money and also provide excellent service supplying uniforms hassle free. Devon clothing are proud employers of over 50 staff, all of whom receive the appropriate award wages, sick leave and payed holidays. All of them are trained to be able to undertake a number of different machining techniques needed to manufacture a garment. Therefore if a staff member is sick or simply unavailable someone else can do their job and no time and money is wasted. This also helps to counteract problems such as (RSI) and low morale and de skilling. The way in which Devon operates is quite rare in Australia today as they have their very own in-house manufacturing operation, Devon also make sure that their garments are quality controlled right the way through to ensure the highest standard possible in both workmanship and consistency in sizing and colour, using top quality Australian-made fabric wherever possible. This means they are extremely durable and an affordable price as no shipping costs are involved.

Devon uses state of the art machinery, which is highly economical. In recent years Devon has purchased a number of high tech machines to help make their company more efficient. These machines have had a positive influence both environmentally and economically. They are designed to use less material as all the patterns are electronically placed as close as possible in the best layout, also cutting many layers at once. Not only is this cost effective but it saves time. This is a large benefit to the company. Devon proudly welcomes the public to come in to the factory to see how the garments are manufactured. When they produce their garments they are made to order, this is when only what is required is made. They do not make to stock which is when they make all styles and sizes. This means that high quality control standards are put in place. When it comes to any faults Devon is known for its outstanding quality. They focus on getting everything right, as they believe this is crucial to run an effective small business. Devon prides themselves on being Australian made and owned. A good incentive to make people want to use Devon is that they are local and it takes much less turn around time for any problems to be fixed as no shipping is required.

There are a number of positives to mass production in the textile industry, mass production allows stock to be made in bulk allowing the product to be re-ordered and received on time. This puts buyers at ease knowing stock is constantly available. Since the growth in technology has occurred many production companies run much more efficiently putting less strain on the employees. Machines can run 24/7 without mistakes. Humans can‟t, this means the amount of human error and variation is also reduced, as many tasks are carried out by machinery. Computers play a big role in the textile industry they are used to make and layout patterns making for less material wastage, a major bonus to the environment. A reduction in labour costs, as well as an increased rate of production, enables a company to produce a larger quantity of one product at a lower cost than if using small-scale methods.

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There are also a number of negatives to mass production in the textile industry. Mass production is inflexible because it is difficult to alter a design or production process after a production line is in place. Also, all products produced on one production line will be identical or very similar, and introducing variety to satisfy individual tastes is not easy. Fashions do change over time and if a company purchases a large amount of a certain style chances are it won‟t all sell. Also a variety of styles are generally given and if all the size 8 – 10 go first the consumer is left with a large amount of bigger sizes. This can be a hassle for retailers as it is not available to be re-ordered.

Small-scale mass production has both positive and negative impacts just like mass production. When a company wishes to re-order stock this can sometimes be difficult, as the company would have to make the product again. This can be time consuming and by the time it gets to the shelf there may no longer be a demand for that fashion trend. A positive to small scale mass production is that when stock is made to order it is usually all sold in a short period of time, this means there is no wastage. As it is usually a small retailer that uses small-scale production they generally have a sound understanding of what area they specialise in and can order exactly what customers are after.

With the fashion trends of today changing as often as our underwear it is a competitive industry. People want to be up to date with the current trends but also want to be able to afford these clothes, over the past years the way in which people use clothes has changed dramatically. Years ago people would purchase one outfit and wear it until it was no longer wearable. Today people purchase an outfit to wear once as no one wants to be an „outfit repeater‟; this puts enormous strain on our environment. Due to these circumstances people don‟t seem to care where and how these clothes are being produced. As long as they have a fancy brand or at least one sold in a well-known store they will wear them. As there is such a high demand for clothing this is encouraging companies such as Nike to use sweatshops to maximise profit.

For our clothing industry to change in a positive way, as a society we all need to promote quality made clothing at an affordable price. We need to protest against the use of sweatshops and make sure all employees are paid an award rate. I believe people would rather pay a few more dollars for their clothes knowing that the people that produced them were given what they deserve for their hard work.

To help minimise the use of large companies using sweatshops people should not support brand names that rely on sweatshops for the garments they produce. If companies wish to make the most out of their products they should look into more efficient mass production as this is an effective way to produce large quantities of garments in a cost effective way, yet still pay their workers a fare wage.

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