I'm a bit behind the times here out on the island, but I know there was a shocking book all about the ‘high cost' of cheap fashion, and then the news and documentary about the collapse of the factory in Bangladesh, where 1,129 garment industry workers lost their lives in 2013.
I'd heard of both of course, but never really looked into it too much. To be truthful, I actively try to avoid bad news and live a happy life pretending bad things don't happen.
But then I stumbled across this video series and couldn't avoid it any more. The short video series follows a group of young Norwegians as they visit with garment industry workers in Cambodia, see how they live and work, and learn about their lives and struggles. It starts out quite happy and optimistic, the young people are looking forward to their visit.
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But then by the end of the series, I'm not sure who was crying the most – them or me. The videos are all in Norwegian but with English subtitles, and I highly recommend taking the time to watch them.
And to think that this was one factory that would allow them in, it's probably far, far worse in other places that they were not allowed to see.
So take a look at the short video series below, and perhaps buy the book –
Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion
Has anyone read the book? Got any more personal experience of this?
On a back-packing trip to Vietnam about 8 years ago, I visited the ancient city of Hoi An, and there they have a thriving clothing industry. You can get clothes custom made over night there. Take in a picture and they'll copy it for you.
I feel bad about that now, thinking that I perpetuated this in some way, but I suppose every time we buy high street fashions, we are contributing to the problem. Makes me so glad that I sew mostly my own clothes now. But now I worry about the fabric industry!
What are your thoughts on this?