Fashion Victims

Are international fashion labels outsourcing labour or slavery?

Fashion Victims Everyone loves a bargain, but what's the real cost of cheap clothes from Bangladesh's sweat shops? Severed limbs, cruel labour conditions and 1000 dead. How could so many of the West's top fashion brands have allowed it to happen? This doc, through gut-wrenching interviews and footage, catches clothing companies playing fast and loose with human life in the search for an easy buck.

"I thought I wouldn't see you again... I thought we would die in there", Mukta says to Labony tearfully. Mukta and Labony were at work in the Rana Plaza in Dhaka when it collapsed, with over a thousand dead, and many more severely wounded. "Are you in pain", she asks looking at where Labony's arm should be. It was amputated when they cut her out of the wrecked building. They had been buried in the rubble, side by side, for five days before they were rescued.

International clothing companies looked the other way as conditions in the garment factories deteriorated. Candid accounts from workers illustrate a disturbing lack of interest in the subhuman conditions. The corporate retailers refuse to comment, or deny outright the evidence presented in this powerful investigation.

"It's price, price, price... and profit". These words represent the stark reality of the garment industry. The price? Cheap clothing; the cost - ruined lives. An entire month's wages equivalent to the price of a single jumper. While high street brands become rich selling garments for cheaper than ever before, the people who make them are poorer and more brutalised.

Yet, it is predicted that exports will triple by 2020. It was and still is a gold rush. "Greed, neglect, and exploitation can have terrible consequences". A shocking phenomenon that lacks any transparency, involving major corporations that too often assume innocence.


The Producers

Sarah Ferguson joined Four Corners in February 2008. Sarah began her journalistic career in newspapers in the UK before moving to France where she worked for the BBC. In Australia she has worked for the SBS programs Dateline and Insight as both producer and reporter. For the past four years Sarah has worked for Channel 9's program Sunday. She has been nominated for four awards in the 2007 Walkley Awards for stories on the Garuda airplane crash, the Northern Territory Aboriginal Intervention and Broadcast Interviewing.

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