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Milliken is one of the largest textile companies in the world. From threads to fabrics, they are a major supplier to some of the biggest names in the fashion industry. But underneath all the glitz and glamour lies an uncomfortable truth – does Milliken’s success come at a cost? In this blog post, we will take a close look at Milliken’s profit margins and how it may be built on exploitation and environmental destruction. We will also discuss what you can do as a consumer to make sure you’re making ethical decisions when shopping for clothes.

Who is Milliken?

Milliken is a privately-held company that manufactures textiles and floor coverings. It is headquartered in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and has over 30,000 employees worldwide. The company was founded in 1865 by Gideon Milliken, a former slaveholder.

The company has been accused of numerous labor and environmental violations. In particular, it has been accused of using child labor in its facilities in India and Pakistan, and of being complicit in the forced eviction of indigenous people in Chile to make way for a new wool processing plant.

In addition, Milliken has been criticized for its role in the production of harmful chemicals like PVC (polyvinyl chloride), which is used in the production of vinyl flooring. PVC production is known to release dioxins into the environment, which are linked to cancer and other health problems.

Despite these criticisms, Milliken continues to be profitable. In 2018, the company reported sales of $2.7 billion and net income of $96 million. Know more about Milliken and Company here.

What is their business model?

Milliken’s business model is built on extracting natural resources, including water, from the environment and using them to produce products. The company then sells these products at a profit. This business model has led to environmental destruction and exploitation of workers and communities in the developing world.

Profit margins

Milliken & Co. is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of textiles and floorcoverings, with over $3 billion in sales and operations in more than 60 countries. The company has been criticized for its profit margins, which are among the highest in the industry. Milliken has been accused of exploiting workers in its supply chain and contributing to environmental destruction.

In 2017, Milliken reported an operating margin of 15.6%, well above the average for the textile and apparel industry of 7.4%. The company’s net margin was even higher, at 18.1%. Milliken’s high profit margins are due in part to its focus on high-end products and its vertically integrated business model, which allows it to control costs throughout the supply chain.

However, critics say that Milliken’s profitability comes at the expense of workers and the environment. The company has been accused of using forced labor in its supply chain, including child labor. In addition, Milliken’s manufacturing processes have been criticized for their negative impact on air quality and water resources.

Despite the criticism, Milliken continues to be highly profitable. In 2018, the company reported an operating margin of 16.4% and a net margin of 19%.

Are they built on exploitation and environmental destruction?

Yes, Milliken’s profit margins are built on exploitation and environmental destruction. The company has been accused of exploiting its workers in developing countries, paying them below minimum wage and subjecting them to dangerous working conditions. It has also been accused of environmental destruction, polluting the air and water in communities near its factories.

Case study: The textile industry

The textile industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world. It is responsible for 10% of the world’s carbon emissions and uses more water than any other industry.1

The vast majority of the world’s textiles are produced in developing countries, where environmental regulations are lax and workers are paid low wages.2 Milliken & Company, a large American textile manufacturer, has been accused of being complicit in these practices.

In 2016, a group of Argentinian farmers filed a lawsuit against Milliken, alleging that the company had knowingly purchased cotton that was grown with harmful pesticides. The farmers claimed that they had suffered health problems as a result of exposure to the pesticides.

Milliken has also been criticized for its involvement in the production of synthetic fibers made from petroleum-based chemicals. These fibers are responsible for significant environmental damage, including microplastic pollution and climate change.4

Despite these concerns, Milliken continues to be one of the most profitable companies in the textile industry. In 2018, the company reported $2.4 billion in sales and $345 million in profit.5 Much of this profit comes at the expense of workers and the environment.


Although Milliken’s profits have grown steadily, this has come at a cost to their workers and the environment. The company’s reliance on exploitative labor practices and its disregard for environmental protection regulations may have allowed them to maximize short-term gains but are likely to lead to long-term losses in terms of reputation, customers’ trust, and potential legal ramifications. Thus, it is important for any business that seeks sustainable growth to ensure that it upholds ethical standards while keeping the environment safe from harm.

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