Super Bowls & Sweatshops: Do You Know How Your Apparel Is Made?

Super Bowls & Sweatshops: Do You Know How Your Apparel Is Made?

Super Bowl weekend is here!  It’s hard not to think about the pomp and circumstance that will occupy our next few days; food, friends, fun & of course, football.  As a Patriot’s fan I was just checking in to see if there were any new developments on Deflategate. I am happy to report nothing yet, but the press still have a few days to add more fuel to the fire.

The real news story that caught my eye, however, is a new five-part reality series called “Sweatshop Deadly Fashion”.  Turns out the show, created in Norway, is quickly going viral in the USA. Having tracked sweatshop abuses for the past 20 years I was very interested to watch.  To be honest I didn’t find anything ground breaking about the content, it seems sweatshop & human rights abuses continue to go hand in hand with the apparel & fashion industry. I am just glad to see that this documentary exposes sweatshops to a new audience in a reality show format.

(Watch a one minute preview below.)

What differentiates Sweatshop Deadly Fashion, is that it focuses on three teenagers who agreed to spend one month living and working in a sweatshop.  These brave souls give their first hand accounts of the problem and puts human faces to the plethora of issues surrounding sweatshop abuses.

The irony of this story is that the show focuses specifically on the working conditions in Cambodia, which was once regarded as a model for other textile producing countries. This is not the first time Cambodia has been in the spotlight for sweatshop abuses. ESPN reported back in 2012 on the NFL and the Dallas Cowboys sweatshop abuses in there segment “The unseen faces of sports apparel.”

sweatshop Dallascowboys

If you are interested in the damage that we do with our dollars you should really watch both segments. If you want to follow along on a day-to-day, violation by violation basis, then you should follow Charlie Kernaghan’s research at Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights and the research by the Worker Rights Consortium.

If you are interested in watching all five episodes of Sweatshop Deadly Fashion you can do so here.

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