Sweatshop: Deadly Fashion

Descriptions

“It started off as a web-series, charting the experiences of three young fashion bloggers, who spent a month living the life of Cambodian garment workers in Phnom Penh”(Source: All Good Found 2015, np link).

“Frida, Anniken and Ludwig live, breath and dream fashion. They spend hundreds of euros every month on clothes and make a living promoting the latest catwalk trends. Except for speculated that factory workers must be ‘used to’ their hard lives, they have never given much thought to the people who make their clothes.

Now, they’re trading their comfortable lives for those of Cambodian garment workers. As well as working in the factories, they have to survive on $3 a day. But this is no exploitative doc, relying on shock value. It poignantly shows the consequences of cheap fashion.” (Source: All Good Found 2015, np link).

“Frida, Anniken and Ludwig live, breath and dream fashion. They spend hundreds of euros every month on clothes and make a living promoting the latest catwalk trends. Except for speculated that factory workers must be ‘used to’ their hard lives, they have never given much thought to the people who make their clothes. Now, they’re trading their comfortable lives for those of Cambodian garment workers. As well as working in the factories, they have to survive on $3 a day. “(Source: syndicadoFilms 2015, np link)

“The 16 – year – old fashion blogger Anniken Englund Jørgensen, Ludvig Hambro and Fride Ottesen from Norway, travel to Cambodia for ten days in January 2014 to look at the production sites (the so called “ sweatshops” ), To talk about local demos and to live from the same day wage as a factory worker. “(Source: Kathrynsky 2015, np link)

“Last night, I slept in a small house – my bathroom at home is bigger, and at 5:30 we got back pain to go to work, I’ve been dressing for 8 hours for 4 dollars = 26 Norwegian krones are spoiled brats, I am ashamed.” (Source: Kathrynsky 2015, np link)

“One Norwegian reality show has taken it upon itself to raise awareness surrounding the abysmal working conditions in the clothing industry, starting with some of the outward facing members of that industry: fashion bloggers.” (Source: Marinelli 2015, np link )

“More than a year ago, we featured an award-winning, Norwegian, documentary-style TV show Sweatshop: Deadly Fashion, which sent three young Norwegian fashionistas to Phnom Penh — the capital of Cambodia — to work in the city’s sweatshops and live the lives of garment workers. 2. The show exposed the harsh realities of people who make our clothes, revealing that the backstage of fast-fashion is far from glamorous.” (Source: APlus, 2016 np Link

“Sweatshop, Deadly Fashion & Sokmeng: A web series explaining the social conditions that young women experience in the sweatshops of Cambodi” (Source: @CLEWcanada 2015 np link)

“The documentary’s intentions are made clear from the get-go: this is a documentary designed at exposing the inequalities of forced labour, highlighting the wealth gap between the West and the rest of the world, and encouraging viewers to make careful choices when it comes to fashion…. The Norwegians; Frida, Ludvig and Anniken, stand in as an example of Western privilege and thought. Pinpointing the wilful ignorance of countries which purchase sweatshop fashion, Ludvig notes that “we live in a bubble. You think things are bad… But you just don’t know how bad it is before you see it.” (Source: FlipYourDog 2017, np  link)

“There are emotional scenes as the bloggers see the living and working conditions of sweatshop workers with one saying: “Our bathroom is larger than her entire house.” (Source: York 2015 np link)

“Many of their family members die of starvation. The work hours are insane and its strenuous. To make it worse, its a cycle of stitching. So people who are in front of them get paid only if the person behind finishes theirs. Each person is dependent on each other. The pressure and anguish cracks them” (Source: Mitha 2015, np link).

 

“In the reality series, called “Sweatshop Deadly Fashion,” the teenagers initially display flippant curiosity. Early on, Jørgensen asked, referring to the workers, “How many do you think die each year?” Another participant ventured that workers must be “used to” their harsh lives. By the end, they were holding tear-filled one-on-one interviews with the workers and railing against the fashion companies that they themselves have frequented. “(Source: Quartz, 2015, np Link )

 

“Anniken said: ‘You sit in your bed in Norway and you hear about all the people who suffer. You watch the news, hear about all sorts of things'”  (Source: York 2015 np link)

“Some workers have told us that during their shift, soldiers had already stood behind them and struck them for sewing so much that some of them fainted “(Source: Joakim Kleven 2015 np link).

I was asked because I was a fashion blogger, although I’d describe my blog is more lifestyle than fashion now. Like many teenagers, I was going through a difficult period in my life at the time. I just wanted get away and happily accepted the airfare to do so. I didn’t even look up where Cambodia was on the map” (Source: Anniken Jørgensen 2015, np link).

“I was curious about what life was like outside of Norway, so when I saw an ad from Framtiden i våre hender (an organization that means “future in our hands”), I sent a video of myself explaining why they should pick me” (Source: Frida Ottesen 2015, np link).

I’m very interested in politics and everything that has to do with society and rights, so my father suggested I apply to become a part of the project. I felt like I was a hypocrite because I knew conditions for workers in the third world were bad, but I still bought clothes. I auditioned for the show because I thought I needed to see it with my own eyes. I wanted to see where my clothes came from and how bad things really were” (Source: Ludvig 2015, np link).

https://www.ecouterre.com/interview-norways-sweatshop-fashionistas-in-their-own

 

Inspiration / Process / Technique / Methodology

“Cambodia was once seen as a model for other textile producing countries, but worsening safety standards and flat wages prompted widespread protests last year. The government eventually raised the minimum wage from $80 a month to $128, but only after police shot and killed five workers. That wage is still lower than the $160 protesters had originally demanded. May Sopheaktra, president of the Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions, told Voice of America that union members are still being fired from their jobs. “ (Source: Kuo 2015, np link )

“The whole production was produced by the Norwegian Department of Photography’s moving picture section “ Aftenposten ” and the series can be viewed with English or Spanish subtitles on the net.” (Source: Kathrynsky 2015, np link)

“Frida, Ludvig and Anniken were uprooted from their comfortable and privileged lives and flown to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where they spent a month working in a sweatshop… “(Source: York 2015 np link)

“My biggest expectation is to learn about the workers’ working conditions. I have heard that they are not good “(Source: Anniken 2015 np link) (4:02)

“I joined Sweatshop because I wanted to learn more about the garment industry” (Source: Anniken 2015 np link) (3:22)

“We had to sleep in a 24/7-secured apartment hotel, because the government and factories didn’t like us traveling around speaking to garment workers and visiting the facilities. We could have been arrested for that, so that’s why we had to sleep in a hotel. “(Source: Frida Ottesen 2015, np link)

There are many who believe that we stayed at a luxury hotel. We didn’t. We stayed at a totally OK hotel most of the time, but it was only to sleep. It wasn’t like we were sunbathing whenever the cameras were off. On the few breaks we had, I either called my family, slept because I was exhausted, or cried…We had to get up early in the morning every day for a new experience, so I would say that we experienced nearly everything. The only difference was that we worked in a pretty nice factory—a family-owned factory. We didn’t get into any others. ” (Source: Anniken Jørgensen 2015, np link)

“You could believe we were in Nairobi” (Source: Ludvig 2015 np link) (6:33)

“First of all, it was extremely difficult to get into any factory at all. The only factory that let us in was one of the best in Cambodia, but also that was not ok” (Source: Joakim Kleven 2015 np link).

“Ludvig: After driving through the factory area, we stopped to get out at the market… it was a market for the local Phnom Penh people” (Source: Ludvig 2015 np link) (7:36)

Discussion

“The concept of this article and tv show is very captivating as it creates the bloggers to see first hand what is actually going on. There is a vast number of people angst using animals for testing but a significantly less amount of people that take notice of the standards that are occurring to human beings. With this show airing to millions of people, it is a good way to educate people about the reality of where their is clothing is coming from and how it is being produced. Along with the idea that it is good to know where your clothes are coming from before you start educating people on them.” (Source: Paige 2015, np link)

“This opens up a whole ugly face of the fashion brands and their reality in starving their under-paid over-worked employee/slaves to slow painful death. Hunger, fatigue, depression and despair are common emotions. The fashion Bloggers actually do put in their best to try cope with the one month in Cambodia as workers. They soon crack and have nervous breakdowns.” (Source: Mitha 2015, np link)

“As expected, some of the Sweatshop scenes are difficult to watch. This type of first-hand experience puts faces and names to the factory horrors we usually only read about, and gives us a look inside the homes and personal experiences we’re not typically privy to. “(Source: Marinelli 2015, np link)

“I’m Camobodian.

Thanks you for sharing the main problem in Cambodia.

Thanks for share it to the world. It’s really touching when i was watching.” (Source: Dana Kuoch 2015, np link)

“Thank you for making this web series. I’m a Cambodian myself, so I can relate to many things shown in this series. I’m struggling to find words to express how truly amazing it is that you and your team decided to make this series and show it to the world in attempting to improve the living condition of other human beings on the other side of the world. I know some people will say “this is happening all around the world, so what?” Yes, I understand that these type of things are taking place everywhere, I know because I came from that place, but not everyone knows about these stuffs or actually understand the severity of it. They only see it on the TV or read about it somewhere without actually understanding the actual situation. This is why series like this is being created to open our eyes to the world around us and attempting to help make this world a better place for everyone. Like the guy said in one of the episodes, some people really live in a bubble which of course is not their fault. So, thank you for this series. I’ll be sure to show it to my friends and family. I can only hope to someday impact other people’s lives positively in some way or another. ” (Source: s3honey 2015, np link)

“Watching @sweatshops deadly fashion with my boy. He likes to keep my socially aware. #documentary #living wage #fashion #sweatshop #deadly (Source: @yolainc 2015 np link)”

 

“Please watch this. I, myself, love clothes and fashion. And, while forever we have heard about the horrendous conditions in the factories overseas, seeing a first-hand account is eye opening. To see people that are young and just like me socioeconomically speaking, allowed me to relate so much more, as their eyes are so similar to mine. Much better than some reporter going in there and reporting it. I really hope that I can make a conscious effort to see where my clothes are made, or to see what I can to do help the living wage increase.” (Source: hjs np 2016 link)

“Fantastic series. Really sheets home the true cost of clothing manufacture. This is the cost of virtually all clothes made in Asia and Central America. Cheap to us at the cost of their lives” (Source: Wendere11a 2015, np link)

“Where are we supposed to shop then? “(Source: x97sfinest 2015, np link)

“…All in all I would recommend viewing. I do not understand the commentators expressing their disgust at the Norwegians, rather than their pity and empathy for the Cambodians. Clearly both groups were born into their respective situations and have had no hand in trying to control them.” (InoffensiveAccount, 2015  link)

“Eye-opening, particularly the honest statements from the young people who ventured there. It also allows for an insight into the life of others I’d never see. This documentary will make you think — but will it make us act? And will enough of us for it to matter where it counts?

Make a start – see the film.” (Source: SimplerTimez np 2017 link )

“This type of first-hand experience puts faces and names to the factory horrors we usually only read about, and gives us a look inside the homes and personal experiences we’re not typically privy to. “(Source: Marinelli 2015, np link)

“…I agree. You need to watch it all. After that I took off my shirt and looked for the “Made in” label. It was Bangladesh and I feel really guilty now. “(TheAmazingReason, 2015 link)

“This online reality series that sends famous Norwegian fashion bloggers to work in a sweatshop in Cambodia is certainly emotional and dramatic” (Source: Layne 2015, np link)

“This is a very good documentary on the current situation of factory workers. It is extremely heart breaking to watch, however it is also extremely important. …. The thing is, this documentary was allowed into what is probably one of the nicer factories to work in- considering the fact that they were even allowed to film in that particular factory, I cant even begin to imagine what other factories are like. Until we begin to boycott or attempt to make it known that such things are not acceptable, the big fast fashion companies will continue to not care and just sit on their stacks of money. Watch this and open your eyes to the terrible realities, but find a way to spread the information and make a difference.” (Source: no name np 2016 link)

“You should’ve made it past the first couple episodes – I thought it was a tremendous series and I do hope all three of the kids take this experience to heart – looks like they did. Being poor in the West is nowhere near the same as being poor in the East.” (Kbhanl01, 2015 link)

“This kind of show or movies are actually made in an attempt to change things. And I doubt those guys came back home the same and went back to their ‘rich’ life. I think this has changed them forever and they are now trying hard to make a change.” (Source: Jennifer Ravolet 2015, np link)

http://aplus.com/a/Sweatshop-season-two?no_monetization=true

“We see all these stories on TV about people having it real tough, but we don’t care. We switch the channel to watch our favorite TV show and eat some popcorn,” Anniken Jørgensen, a fashion blogger cast on the show, told A Plus in an interview later that year. “But when you have a person next to you, you understand that it’s a human being. Worth as much as you, your family, and your friends. This as real as it gets for this person.”(Source: Aplus 2016, np. link)

“For the teenager it was very hard to hear all the stories. This can also be seen in the documentation. They were very shocked that the big fashion brands pay so little wages to the workers and miserable working conditions prevail in many factories” (Source: Joakim Kleven 2015 np link).

“But, What If there’s a teenager who is Smart and Brilliant and saw this video, and trying to ask his/her self, What should I do to change Something ,, BOOOOM! Steve Jobs BOOOOM! mark zuckerberg BOOM! Mandela BOOOM! Bill Gates , ITS NOT ABOUT UNTIL WE FEEL IT ON OUR SKIN , ITS ABOUT HOW WE WE WANTED TO FEEL IT “(Source: RR Del Mar 2015, np link)

 “I really feel sorry for her, but then i think that is how she has lived all her life.” (Source: Frieda Ottesen 2015, np link) (3:23)

“It is stupid that we have to come all the way down here to understand it. In Norway we live in a bubble” (Source: Ludvig 2015 np link) (8:04)

“Those guys are gonna feel bad for a day or two and then go home, where everything will be back the way it was. Just like everyone who came here to watch it. We all know how those people live but we do nothing. We can never understand how important it is NOT to live a life like this until we feel it on our own skin. I’m not trying to insult anyone particularly. This is an insult to all of humanity, including me. I’m just telling the truth and you know it. “(Source: Dejan Amebot 2015, np link)

“Well that was incredibly cringe. White saviour complex anyone?” (sobri909, 2015 link)

“I hope they’re then gonna send them work in the field, doing the back breaking work of manual, low tech, labour, in the heat and humidity. Then they’ll see that may be the sweatshop can be seen as a better option for the locals.” (MaxBoivin, 2015 link)

“This type of “poverty tourism” is really difficult to get behind. I don’t think that we needed to send three fashion bloggers to Cambodia to really grasp the disparity between the lifestyle of a sweatshop worker and someone who is not. I don’t think we needed to have these very privileged people live such an experience for a limited time, only to then speak for those who aren’t going back to a cushy life — for those who don’t have the “privilege” they do to simply leave. So why do we require cultural ambassadors like this?…While this series tells the story of what it’s like to work in a sweatshop, the reality is that it’s been deemed a worthy story because of who it’s centered around. Would we be as inclined to watch a reality show about workers who aren’t just there for a few weeks, but who actually just live the life, day in and day out?…I simply wish it didn’t take sending a bunch of Western fashion bloggers to Cambodia to inspire such an urge within us. ” (Source: Layne 2015, np link)

“I found you kind of hypocrite. You’re claiming these three people aren’t doing enough but at least they had courage to go there, live like the workers, talk to them, try and understand them, and when they got back, they had the courage to stand up against big companies (they confronted H&M in their offices). Not all of us would have done the same …We have to stop blaming each other and start pointing at the real bad guys here : multinational corporation who only care about profit and put at risk people and nature. “(Source: Agathe ThePower 2015, np link)”

“You can’t use diplomacy in the context of a powerful and brutal multinational who have a vested interest in the oppression of their workers and so violent law enforcement becomes necessary to make it harder for any voice representative of their employees to be heard. The workers are beaten and silenced by the police who are essentially mercenaries for these huge companies. These poor workers should be allowed to unionise at the very least. If there was any justice in this world the company directors would all share the same fate as Mussolini, beaten and hung. Then the workers would proceed to take control of the factories and profits would be distributed evenly amongst themselves etc etc.” (Source: Akylina C 2015, np link)

“I completely agree with you, companies need to be regulated. the exact same thing occurred in what we call the first world during the end of the 19th century, and it skyrocketed the living conditions of people in those countries while maintaining if not even improving the industrial way of producing goods. But there is one thing too, the countries where this thing is happening now, they need to change too, people there need to stand up for their rights, they need to change the way their government treats them, if not changing their governments entirely, if they are unable to achieve that, they will never stop living this way, no matter how many regulations wealthiest countries impose over companies. That is a fact, because this kind of treatment has existed way before the industrial revolution happened in england.” (Source: TheFi0r3 2015, np link)

“The point is that those people don’t really have any choice. Yes, it’s sad, but you can’t be a hypocrite while munching away on your food which was grown by slaves and meat made by corpses of animals.

Wearing any clothes that you bought for cheap.

Typing away on your computer or phone, which had its parts made by people like this.

Don’t you lecture anyone while you are still a part of the society that enables it. There is not a single thing that you can do and to be honest, even if there was, you wouldn’t lift a finger to do anything with how complex the whole situation is.

Self righteous social justice people are fucking clueless brats.” (Source: Prehistoricbiiirds? 2015, np link)

“Can you people please stop this bullshit argument about what a blessing these factories are for these people giving them any work at all? Are seriously fucking kidding me?? If you keep bringing up this argument you are either dumb and stupid or just ignorant. These people are slaves!! NOTHING BUT SLAVES!! So you think after these companies started to build their factories in these parts of the world in the 60s or 70s the people live a happier live than before because they have a job now where they and their children have to work 12 hours a day in horrible condition without holidays and breaks? Oh thank god these companies came along and put them out of their horrible peaceful and traditional rural farmer life to make them work for us. THANK GOD!! What a blessing… We really should continue supporting this amazing thing!! What would they do without us?? Just keep buying people!! THEY NEED US!! No seriously, I should burn in hell for buying these clothes but you should burn in hell twice for thinking you are doing something good with it. God, I just can’t take all this stupidity.” (Source: Mr. Lars 2015, np link)

“No, they are not slaves. They come and go as they wish. They are working there voluntarily. They form HUGE lines to get a sweatshop job. The DREAM of those who are still in the fields, starving, is to get a sweatshop job. That’s the nude reality. Go there and TALK to them, go meet those people. Don’t try to judge what they are sitting in your confortable rich country sofa. You’re just saying bullshit about people you DON’T KNOW, about factories you NEVER VISITED.

If YOU are a douche enough to boycott companies that use cheap labor, thats fine. No problem at all. It’s your choice. You do as you wish with YOUR money. But don’t try to dictate what I do with MY money or what those miserable people should or shouldn’t do with their bodies, their work. Don’t try to use FORCE (government) to ban this, you’ll only make everything more expensive for the poor in your own country AND force millions of asians to starve to death.

You’re just the typical lef leaning delusional tard: a pen and a paper saying beautiful things and all problems are gone. Pure fucking retarded wishful thinking. And a dangerous one: you don’t just dream about this, you want to use FORCE (government) to reshape society to be like your colorful wet dreams full of unicorns, completly oblivious of all the harm it would cause if you close those factories. Get down from your Ivory Tower, will you?” (Source: celtiberian 2015, np link)

“I found it funny (ironic, I guess not funny) that right below this article was an article about what to buy at H&M for $50 or less. I don’t know where H&M produces their garments. It’s just the idea of embracing fast fashion right after this.” (Source: Alice 2015, np link)

“Where are we supposed to shop then?” (Source: x97sfinest 2015, np link)

“Well we can simply stop buying the clothes , or stop producing them overseas, but that doesn’t change the fact that these people will become even poorer. That’s one of the big problems with child labor in many parts of the world. The little they make is essential for them to live. However, we need to limit the influence of the global market and make the economy more centers in regions instead of globally. This of course would mean many of our luxuries would either be off market or the price would rise significant. But it would give people in countries like Bangladesh to produce the essentials they need for their community, make the people in the region work for common economic growth instead of growth for a major company. This being said we also need to limit the concentration of power and wealth to the point where one man is not able to buy another man. The problem with such a vast global market today is to assume people are responsible with money, and doesn’t use it for their own selfish desires. No one should ever have enough influence and power to own another human being. But sadly we allow this to happen all over, and we call it freedom. We need to restructure the whole economic concept if these atrocities where to be eradicated . ” (Source: Jonathon Franssen 2015, np link)

“I just don’t see a solution for this. I can’t NOT wear clothes, and it’s almost impossible to find ethically sourced clothes. Not to mention, buying locally sourced clothes would impact the income of people who live in these people making them, in some cases, worse off. Unfortunately, it’s not a black and white issue. It’s complex, and there are more players involved than just the buyer. One thing I’ve learned is that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Sometimes good intentions have negative results. While I believe in helping others, there are times where others must help themselves.” (Source: Micky8701 2016, np link)

“Why are we all acting like there’s nothing we can do? There is, just stop buying things that weren’t made ethically ! It’s OUR choice to support this or not, it’s our choice. It’s not like we are forced to buy this kind of clothes. We can search for ethical products, we can learn to make our own. We have choices but to support this, if we act like we don’t, we’re just making excuses for taking the easy way.” (Source: Claudia Almeida 2016, np link)

“We must become conscious consumers and think about where our clothes come from. By purchasing sweatshop-free fashion, we can break the cycle of forced labour and fight for equal rights” (Source: FlipYourDog 2017, np  link).

“Buy products from companies that share your values. It’s easy to find out. Google “(insert company name here)+donations” or “(insert company name here)+best practices” or “(insert company name here)+campaign donations”. Maybe your favorite company gives money to groups you don’t support, you might be surprised. Anthropologie and Free People, for example, give money to the Tea Party. Then choose an issue you’re passionate about, like water conservation, or equal rights, whatever it is, and Google “(insert your issue here)+largest donors”, and buy from that company when you can. Start with everything you have to buy — like shampoo, deodorant, groceries, toilet paper, etc. Research those companies, and buy your essentials from companies you want to support. Over just 1 year of everyday purchases, you will have “voted” thousands of dollars away from bad companies, and put it into good companies.” (Source: Rachel Potucek 2015, np link)

“What you can do, if you cannot help directly, is donate. Then you will be helping, so much./// Stop buying new clothes at the whim. You’ve seen what it does to people on the same planet as you, yet so far away. Everyone has enough clothes. Get them second-hand, hand me downs etc. Most importantly, do not contribute to this industry and buy them from sustainable fashion. This is the least someone with money can do.” (Source: PK 2016, np link)

“You can easily buy staple clothes like tshirts and buy clothes elsewhere. There are several brands that have decent prices and use ethical labor lone flag and patagonia./// Do your research there are dozens of good companies! You’re just making excuses for your lack of empathy. Etiher you support sweatshops or you dont but dont act as if someone is putting a gun to your head…” (Source: shakh94 2016, np link)

“What outrages me is the cash the workers get in return for this labor is not even enough to feed the family” (Source: Mitha 2015, np link).

“I feel the big brands should take responsibility and take it seriously. The money that they save from outsourcing labor to these countries that claim to have ‘Cheap Labor’ is sometimes borderline slavery. That money has the sweat and blood of poor workers. It is not a surprising fact that even children are forced into this vicious cycle. The seriousness lies in the fact that the next generation is also deprived of proper education and a chance to build a future” (Source: Mitha 2015, np link).

“Ok, then what the solution to this problem would be? Lower class was living like this in the countries today we consider the world powers less than 150 years ago.” (Source: TheFi0r3 2015, np link)

“So, you’re fully persuaded that you can implement our laws, our behaviour and – most importantly – our values to countries outside Europe? You’re mistaken. The British Empire ruled in India for a nearly one hundred years and it seems that the only thing they were able to learn them is a cricket. Look at Africa – even several hundred years of study of the Holy Bible wasn’t enough to make them European (sarcasm).

Their fundamental principles and thinking are different from ours. Americans taught the world that you cannot import the democracy and the western way of life. You want to regulate them? By laws? By a good word? They will laugh at you.

Of course you can increase wages to workers, but it won’t reduce their suffering in a long term. School, education and change of attitude is the only way to make things better. But they must come to it by themselves.

You can regulate your (Norwegian or EU) companies, but there are other companies from all corners of the World which are standing in a line for exploiting low cost workers and they are waiting only for releasing a capacity blocked by their competition. Many of them are not from Europe (therefore they are not regulated by NOR/EU laws. Given the high level of corruption it is not realistic that these countries would adopt such laws.

Everybody wants better world, but unfortunately not everyone has oil deposits, a very convenient geographic location and stable neighbors who could serve as a bumper against the “great Russian bear”. “(Source: Jiří Pagáč 2015, np link)

“What we should do is to bring our politicians to do what their job is and to not be a bunch of Neo-Liberal fuckheads. Companies in our capitalistic society have to be, I repeat, HAVE TO BE regulated by laws. Companies are cruel and will go over human lifes for profit and its the politics job to say to them “until here but not further”. There have to be laws that forbid stores like Kick, Primark and others that produce offshore under these kind of unfair and inhuman conditions. There have to be laws here, in Norway, in Germany, In the USA. Everywhere where this stuff is sold. That would change something, that would be a long term solution in my opinion.” (Source: Mr. Lars 2015, np link)

“Will Sweatshop: Deadly Fashion make a difference? Well, above all, the series reminds us that it’s up to us, to each of us as individuals to make a difference to these people’s lives. Awareness is certainly one thing, but if the series makes a difference to the life of just one Cambodian person, then it will have been worth it. My guess it will do a lot more than that. “(Source: McFarlane np 2015 link)

“…I feel that more could’ve been done by going back to these 3 for a surprise visit and seeing how their lives have changed since their visit. Have their buying habits changed? Do they full on protest big fashion companies that abuse their sewing workers? This was the only thing I felt was missing from the documentary and could’ve made it more concrete. Otherwise it was a good watch.” (Source: Adiar np 2016 link)

“Just because you won’t do shit about other peoples suffering, doesn’t mean that everyone will, stop generalizing things to make you feel better, there’s people out there that will do things to help other’s, after realizing things, you’re in no position to make statements like the ones you did.” (Source: Lemove 2015, np link)

“We should put pressure on the clothing companies to reveal their whole chain, show what wages they give their workers etc, so we can pressure them to give fairer wages. If we only buy from the brands that give fair wages, we can actually make a positive difference, as there then will be more and more factories giving their workers what they deserve!” (Source: Synna89 2015, np link)

“One of the teens, a 17-year-old fashion blogger named Anniken Jørgensen, is now criticizing fast fashion chain H&M for not paying higher wages. She is also blasting Aftenposten for not showing more footage of the poor working conditions at the factory they visited. And the Asian garment industry is now under debate in the Norwegian parliament, according to the director of the series, which has been viewed more than 1.5 million times…Twenty-year-old participant Ludvig Hambro said at the end of the series: “The truth is that we are rich because they are poor. We are rich because it costs us €10 ($11.20) to buy a t-shirt at H&M.” (Source: Kuo 2015, np link )

“Before I left, I knew nothing about the country, not even where it is on the map. I was not informed before the trip.I thought the mass production of clothing meant that it was made by machines. Now I know how the textile industry is working – I have been there and have seen it with my own eyes. I slept on a floor, eaten simple food, and sat for a few hours in the factory without ventilation on a small chair to sew the same stitch until I was bad and I was so tired that I only wanted to start to cry. We had water and also something to eat. But most there it is not allowed to eat or drink, for fear that it is spilled on the clothes. Taking too long a break means taking the risk of being fired. (Source: Kathrynsky 2015, np link)

It will be difficult , because neither Anniken nor I have any more evidence than our experiences in Cambodia . (…) How can people, with villa , pool and giant Yacht sleep when they know there are many thousands of textile workers who do not even have a bed at night ? Logic is difficult here . ” (Source: Kathrynsky 2015, np link).

“For two 16-year-old girls I find the decision to go to Cambodia in one of the factories really brave. Of course, many have a big flap at the age, but it usually haptens the implementation. And also the use which the two in the connection show, indicates that it has changed the experience. Does this mean, however, that you have to deal with it 24 hours a day? To this day they are framtiden for the project (just wages for textile workers) and even if Anniken is slowly tired of always saying the same, she knows the subject is so important that she as an ambassador also always to a new one repeated”(Source: Kathrynsky 2015, np link).

“1. They lived like the workers? Hahaha, are you sure? Please explain how they did so, by eating and sleeping once down there? Please, sit down and listen more before talking nonsense…

2. If I or you would have got a paid trip down there with all the publicity and spot lights followed, what do you think, wouldn’t we do the same and show up in an H&M office to make some noise? Yes we would- cause that was the expectation. Has nothing to do with courage as you call it!

3. Go and take a look at the blog of one of the girls, no significant signs nore obvious links to be found related to the injust treatment of workers they have visited, met and understood. Just another bling bling celebrity blog… business as usual!

4. I’m not blaiming those three objects (in my opinion just poor consumers presently). No, not at all. I even like the fact they went down there and did a bit of slum tourism. But what I cant accept are the props and credits givent to their action by you and many others. If they would have wanted a change, they would have to change their way of thinking and living. Saying that H&M is now paying higher wages is not a comprehensive solution to the problem. Contrary, the issue is being pushed further down the road.

5. Stop blaiming the multinational companies for being the only responsible for injustice circumstances. The consumers, means WE (yes, myself too), are taking a big part into this game. Instead of bla bla bla start changing your way of thinking, your actions will follow accordingly…

peace out yyooooooo….” (Source: boogie one 2015, np link)

 

Impacts/ Outcomes

“Gullruten (“Golden Screen”) is an annual award for the Norwegian TV industry. It is the greatest one can be achieve for a film series in our country. Don’t need to say that we are insanely proud and happy! Such a price gives us the best starting to point to get the plans for a new season going.” (Source: Joakim Kleven 2015 np link)

“The production of and sharing of the series, has resulted in several clothing brands based in Norway to feel the pressure to make a change, including the large internationally-recognised brand, H&M” (Source: Pugh np 2015 link)

“And the Asian garment industry is now under debate in the Norwegian parliament, according to the director of the series” (Source: Kuo 2015 link)

“A lot of people have divided the series, which has led to a few clothing companies feeling very pressured to change something – especially one of the biggest fashion chains: H & M. Anniken has blogged about her experiences after her Cambodian stay… And while the series was running, working conditions in the textile industry were discussed here in the Norwegian Parliament” (Source: Joakim Kleven 2015 np link).

“Following headlines and articles all over the world, more than a million hits and lots of inquires, the webseries has been re-versioned into an hour long documentary “(Source: All Good Found 2015, np link)

“The four young Scandinavian women return to Cambodia as activists, no longer tourists. The show investigates how much, and if anything, has actually changed in the last year. “(Source: Danute Rasimaviciute 2016 np link)

“The TV series shocked and engaged an entire generation of teens – not only in Norway. It has engaged hundreds of thousands of youth from Australia to the United States and Germany, wrote Aftenposten’s chief editor Espen Egil Hansen in Aftenposten editorial report (in Norwegian)…Gained international attention…The series aired on Aftenposten TV spring 2014 and started getting many views internationally after the director Joakim Kleven was interviewed by Belgian Elle…And when Hollywood star Ashton Kutcher posted a comment about the series on Facebook, Sweatshop got massive international attention.” (Source: Schibsted Media Group 2015, np link).

“The films have also sparked discussions in Spain, Belgium, Mexico and Argentina… People have spoken, they do not accept the conditions for the textile workers and the ‘deadly fashion’ anymore” (Source: Joakim Kleven 2015 np link)!

In the series, there was one line we often repeated: “They are used to it.” But you know what, after coming home from this trip, I’m so pissed with myself for saying that because that is not an excuse! Nobody should live like that even if that was always the case. Nobody should get used to sleeping on the floor…My turning point came after the day at the factory. I sat there for eight hours, sewing the same stitches over and over again. And I only earned $3! That isn’t enough to even buy a Coke! I worked for eight hours and I couldn’t even afford to buy tampons at the supermarket.” (Source: Frida Ottesen 2015, np link)

“The Norwegian press took up the issue, Anniken said at a later date that she had been drawn from all sides as if on a doll, but she also had the possibility to point out the abuses on television and she publicly called for one of the leading Norwegian clothing giants Working conditions…  Even with a translation program you can read Annikens rage in this (title: “Norway is not honest enough” ) or even that blog contribution. She writes with very clear words and would like to point out that, unlike the classical press, she does not draw back and is willing to speak clearly…  The two made it through their permanent presence that the topic was not only discussed in all sorts of blogs and thus the topic was addressed and discussed by a younger target group, but also by the Storting , the Norwegian parliament! It did not lead to a change in the law, but the Group’s goals on the working conditions were revised – whether or not they are implemented – is difficult to verify “(Source: Kathrynsky 2015, np link).

After all I’ve experienced, I can’t find myself buying clothes at any outlet shops, except when really, really necessary! I actually haven’t bought any clothes since I came back from Cambodia. I started to understand that I had everything I needed…Now I don’t go out “shopping” like it is a hobby, because I think shopping shouldn’t be a hobby. I still love unique clothes from secondhand places, however, or ethical clothing” (Source: Frida Ottesen 2015, np link).

“I’m conducting lectures around Norway to convey the message to as many people as possible. But as a schoolgirl, it’s difficult to do everything. I quarreled with H&M in the newspapers throughout the summer last year. I’ve really worked on this issue with blood and tears.” (Source: Anniken Jørgensen 2015, np link).

 “Yep! I do my best! I recently spoke at the Norwegian Parliament, where I tried to engage politicians to think about our responsibilities as a country” (Source: Frida Ottesen 2015, np link).

“I also travel to other cities in Norway to urge teenagers and young politicians to be critical about where our clothes come from. (I have four talks lined up right now.) I just want to get people to fight the same fight!” (Source: Anniken Jørgensen 2015, np link).

“On their blog you find some articles in the last year (after the trip) in which they linked products that were probably not made fair … The third one in the series, Ludvig, has now deleted his web profiles and his pictures are from then not to see anymore. It was a pity that they were not better advised before the start of the project, because even if Anniken had previously been known for a different format ( Teenage Boss ) in the country, they both left the social after the sudden success of the series in Norway Networks and a few accounts are completely deleted” (Source: Kathrynsky 2015, np link).

My relation with fashion now is changed. Firstly, I have become much more picky when it comes to clothes, and secondly, I have respect for the clothes I buy. I know that it’s a person with hopes and dreams that has put it together, and that I can afford it because his or her salary is low.” (Source: Ludvig Hambro 2015, np link).

Yes! The fact that Sweatshop got so big in Norway was a surprise. People starting to recognize me was also really surprising. Then the series gained popularity in the rest of the world, and Ashton Kutcher shared the trailer for the show! News outlets from France and Spain have also gotten in touch” (Source: Frida Ottesen 2015, np link).

“I know that H&M and many other brands feel very threatened by Sweatshop now that it’s gone viral around the world. It can actually be catastrophic for them. The consumer has the power now! “(Source: Frida Ottesen 2015, np link)

“H&M, which has a significant presence in Cambodia, declined to be interviewed for the program. It did, however, release a statement vaunting its position on Cambodia” (Source: Mitha 2015, np link).

“The documentary caused quite a stir online even prompting H&M to release a statement denying the sweatshops depicted were used by the chain. In a statement they said: “H&M has been present in Cambodia for over 10 years. This is one of our key countries of supply. Our commitment is strong there,” the brand told L’Express in a statement. “Since 2005, H&M has been a member of the Better Factories Cambodia program of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which aims to improve working conditions in the textile industry in Cambodia.” (Source: York 2015 np link)

“Our work to improve the working conditions for the people making H&M products at our suppliers continues with good progress. The work is at the top of our agenda and we stay true to our collaborative approach and methodical way of working, making it possible to take important steps forward…

“… So, what is our work about? And what happened during 2016? Firstly, it’s about creating a good dialogue between the employers and the employees at the factories and on the labour market in the countries where our products are made. This is fundamental to be able to improve working conditions, including wages. One of our goal is to make sure that factory employees are represented by trade unions that can negotiate collectively. We offer trainings to the factories on workplace cooperation, negotiation skills, collective bargaining and labour law… 290 factories are enrolled in our workplace dialogue and industrial relations programs.

More than 370,000 factory workers are directly covered by democratically elected worker representation through our programs. The programs are run in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Ethiopia and India. Our collaboration within the Global Framework Agreement – pushing the development forward –was converted to a permanent agreement. H&M became an official supporter of the Global Deal partnership. In 2018, the goal is to have democratically elected worker representatives in place at supplier representing 50% of our product volume…

… Secondly, it’s about making sure that wage issues are negotiated and that that workers have knowledge about their wage, benefits and rights. Just as important is that the wage take the individual worker’s skills, experience, performance and responsibility into consideration. Systems taking above into consideration are being implemented at an increasing number of factories; 140 until the end of 2016, and an additional 96 during 2017. Factories in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, India, China, Turkey and Myanmar are participating.

In 2018, the goal is to have improved wage management systems in place at suppliers representing 50% of our product volume…

… Thirdly, since we are dealing with industry-wide challenges and we want change to happen in the entire fashion industry, we focus on close collaborations. Also important since we share suppliers with many other brands and since the factory employees get the same wage regardless of which brand she/he saw garments for. In December, H&M gathered academia, NGOs, trade unions, brands and suppliers at the Fair & Equal Lab to discuss for example fair living wages and human rights. The collaboration with IndustriALL and IF Metall within the Global Framework Agreement continues…

… Finally, to be able to create change within the textile industry, the national governments need to be on board. They set minimum wages and decide on labour laws and when wage revisions take place. With our size, we can have a direct dialogue with the governments in the countries where our products are made. During 2016, as an example we have together with other brands had a dialogue with the Cambodian government about the new Trade Union Law, to make sure that the law fully respects ILO conventions.” (Source: H&M, 2017, np, link)

 

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Anniken said: “You sit in your bed in Norway and you hear about all the people who suffer. You watch the news, hear about all sorts of things.  (Source: York 2015 np link)

York, C. (2015) Huffington Post ‘Sweatshop Deadly Fahsion’ Sees Young Bloggers Travel To Cambodia To Expereince Clothes Factories First Hand http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/01/26/sweatshop-deadly-fashion_n_6545674.html (last accssed 2nd novemeber 2017).

@TaylaGoldberg (2015) The truth is. Twitter.com. 15 April 2015. Viewed 23 October 2017. <https://twitter.com/TalyaGoldberg/status/588283255838920704>

Hope, J. (2107) Flipyourdog sweatshop deadly fashion viewed 3rd november 2017   https://flipyourdog.co.nz/blog/sweatshop-deadly-fashion.html

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