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Repost from treehugger.com:
“Many of us know on an intellectual level that most clothing retailers use sweatshop labour to create cheap, unsustainable “fast fashion.” But how many of us know it on a gut level what it means to work in one of these factories? It may either be a striking example of poetic justice or a staged publicity stunt, but an eye-opening, online docu-series called Sweatshop: Dead Cheap Fashion follows what happens to three fashion-loving Norwegian teens, in reality TV style, as they are sent by Norway’s Aftenpostennewspaper to work in a Cambodian sweatshop.
The five short but eventful episodes show 17-year-old fashion blogger Anniken Jørgensen,19-year-old Frida Ottesen and 20-year-old Ludvig Hambro as they live, eat and work beside sweatshop employees. The series begins in Cambodia’s captial, Phnom Penh, with the teenagers displaying typical, mainstream rationalizations about sweatshop labour: they believe that “these people” have always lived like this and don’t know or aspire to anything better. “They’ve never seen Norwegian houses,” says Jørgensen. “[At least] they have a job.”
As the teenagers are put to work though, the everyday reality of their now-fellow workers sinks in. Details like how a worker may sew the same seam for years, or how workers cannot afford the very clothes they make thanks to wages that barely even covers basic living expenses, are highlighted by cameras to demonstrate the inhumane insanity of an industry that squeezes their workers to lower prices for consumers, and to increase profit margins for the big companies.
The struggles of the workers’ daily life are emphasized in one episode where the youngsters are asked to feed themselves, the camera crew and their hosts with their day’s wages of approximately $9. They struggle to scrape something together, and the indignity becomes visceral for Hambro, who says:
To experience how short $9 reach is something you can’t see on TV. What it actually costs to live here, you just don’t get to know. They don’t have money for food; the big fashion chains starve their workers. And nobody holds them responsible.”