The dark side of fashion
Frida, Ludvig and Anniken, three Norwegian youngsters, went to Cambodia to learn about how the clothes they wear actually is produced. They worked in a factory and stayed with locals. And they were changed for life. Our Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten’s web-tv documentary ”Sweatshop” engaged millions of people around the world.
– “I dreamed of becoming a doctor, but had to quit school.” Sokty, 25, stands in her home, a one room shed in Cambodia. Frida, Ludvig and Anniken ask questions about her life and reflect over her situation.
”My room is larger than her home. Our bathroom is much bigger.”
They are going to spend the night on the floor at Sokty’s place but first they go for a shopping tour. In an exclusive shop, where Sokty has never been, they sell brands you often see in Norway and that Sotky sometimes produces in parts. Sotky looks at the price for a jacket and says:
”This costs more than I earn in one year.”
Sokty is a textile worker earning 130 dollar a month and she works seven days a week, from six in the morning until eight at night. The Aftenposten documentary “Sweatshop” is about contrasts and about three young people seeing the injustice with their own eyes. The next day Frida, Ludvig and Anniken get to know the conditions in one of the textile factories as they are joining the workers and start producing.
“Sweatshop” has shocked and awakened an entire generation of teens – not just in Norway. The series is living its own life and is engaging youths around the world. In total nearly 4 million people have watched “Sweatshop” which has been translated into English and Spanish. Back home the mission has continued with confronting large fashion companies and spreading the message in social media.
The documentary has been awarded Best documentary in Norway and is also used in teaching and debates and shown at numerous festivals.
“Sweatshop” is an example of how journalism can make a difference, making people aware of social injustices.