Did you know that only a small percentage of what you pay for your clothes end up in the hands of the persons that actually make them?
One year ago, the three Norwegian youths Frida (19, Anniken (18) and Ludvig (21) came back for Cambodia transformed by the experiences and stories from an unfair textile production. They had witnessed how workers were paid far to little to live a decent and safe life. Now Frida and Anniken want to go back to find out why the major brands – who count their profit in billions - can’t “afford” to pay their workers a living wage. It really does not make sense!
In order to make the textile industry and brands pay their workers a living wage, we as consumers needs to stand side by side. We need to show that we want our clothes to be made under fair conditions. What better way to do this, than together? We need your help to bring Anniken and Frida back to Cambodia to get some real answers. Help us fund the web series Sweatshop – A living wage.
The first series Sweatshop - dead cheap fashion premiered on 24. April 2014, on the anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster. It became a huge success, first in Norway, then globally. The series went viral in January 2015 and has now 3,8 million views worldwide, plus 4 millions views of the promo.
We are proud to say that series has made important contributions in creating awareness about the working conditions for textile workers. But it is still a long way to go before things are fair. We need to keep telling the world about this, and that is why we want to make another season of Sweatshop. In the season 2 of the series, we will focus on what the workers, the trade unions and the activist ask for: a living wage.
Frida and Anniken can sum up their frustrations in one statement: Why is it so difficult to be an ethical consumer of clothes? It is almost impossible to find out which of the fashion brands exploit their workers, and which brands doesn't. They want to go back to Cambodia, now prepared and on a mission: How can textile workers be paid a living wage? They will search for the good examples and find producers of clothes that offer decent conditions and pay their workers a living wage. Why do some manage and others not? What are the factories that produce for global brands hiding? Is it just about will? What can we as consumers do? And what about Sokty, their friend in Cambodia? Has she improved her life? Frida and Anniken are back to investigate...
What is A Living Wage?
When you work full time in global, profitable industry, the least you should expect is a wage that allows to buy food for yourself and your family, pay the rent for an average flat, pay for healthcare, clothing, transportation and education and have a small amount of savings for when something unexpected happens. A living wage is just about earning enough to cover the basic needs. Brands and their providers often claim that higher wages would put them out of business. Is this true? We are not the only to doubt this. Let us look at the facts.
The graphic above shows the average components that sum up the price you pay for you t-shirt. Would you tolerate an increase of $0.9 to give the textile worker a decent life? Or could the major brands afford to make $0.9 less? We believe so!
Who is Frida and Anniken?
Frida (19) and Anniken (18) used to be quite normal Norwegian youngsters. They have one thing in common: they are above average interested in clothes. Frida is eager to have her own style and blends new stuff with second hand. Anniken has a popular blog and get everything she needs for free – and more. But something has changed since their first trip to Cambodia.
Frida has made labour rights a full-time engagement:
Not just another reality show!
Our ambition with Sweatshop – A living wage is to make a difference and create impact through an entertaining reality show. Frida and Anniken are our guides into the world of textile factories. We see things through their eyes, with their emotions and we listen to their perspectives. That the series is entertaining does not at all imply the series is without sting and real engagement. The impact of the first series Sweatshop - Deadly fashion is proof of that.
The H&M Controversy
After its release the major fashion retailer H&M filed a complaint to Norwegian Press Complaints Commission (PFU-case no. 148/14) claiming the show was "(...) not representative in relation to H&M’s social responsibility and the comments give a wrong picture of the work we do around the working and salary conditions at our contractors.” H&M lost on all points.
World wide press coverage
International press quickly picked up the controversy with H&M. The coverage ranged from The Huffington Post (UK edition), TF1 News (France), El Pais (Spain), El Mundo (Spain), Puls (Germany), Cosmopolitan (UK) O Globo (Brazil) and radio interviews with Studio Brussel (Belgia) and CBC Radio (Canada). To mention a few...
On the political level
Sweatshop has been mentioned as a reference in several debates, also in Parliaments around the world. In the Canadian Parliament in January 2015, the series was used to support the presentation of an act to prohibit sweatshop labour goods to enter Canada. Some weeks later, in the Dutch Parliament, Sweatshop got a similar attention.
In Norway, the series was a main inspiration for the chairman of KrF, one of the government coalition partners, to start a process of tracing where and under what conditions clothes imported to Norway are produced.
Attention on blogs and in social media
The series was commented on numerous blogs, in tweets and posts. This post on facebook was particularly helpful for us to spread the word!
More than 7.5 million views...and counting!
Sweatshop got remarkable high ratings for a webseries in Norwegian....
50 minute documentary in international distribution
To reach viewers on other platforms, we edited the first season into a 53-minute documentary. The documentary is now distributed internationally.
We want to reach the world !
Norwegian is definitely not a widely spoken language, so Sweatshop - Deadly Fashion was made in English and Spanish versions. Sweatshop - A Living Wage will also be released simultaneously in Norwegian, English and Spanish.
Who makes it?
Sweatshop – A Living Wage wil be made by the same team that made the first series. We all want to go back and continue what we started!
Joakim Kleven is the director. He is young and ambitious, working with series like this and music videos. Have a look at his blog joakimkleven.no
Stig Indrebø is an aspiring cinematographer and steadycam operator. Have a look at his work here. https://vimeo.com/80188507.
The production company is Hacienda Film AS, and our producer Pål Karlsen will follow the project from start to finish.He is a very experienced producer with hundreds of films in his portifolio. Hacienda Film AS is based in Oslo (Norway), and specializes in knowledge films and web series.
The organization Future in our hands is our partner in research and network access in the textile industry. Their knowledge and experience was crucial to get the first series started, and will also be a part of season 2. Fivh is the Norwegian affiliate of Clean Clothes Campaign.
Outreach and impact
We live in a world that is overflown with media products. To reach out and get attention you need partners with credibility and a network to distribute the series. We will work with these partners to make sure Sweatshop - A living wage gets the attention it deserves!
Aftenposten TV - APTV...
Is the web-tv channel one of the major Norwegian newspapers. APTV will screen the series and produce background articles, reportages and news stories.
Future in our hands (FIVH)...
Is Norway's largest environmental organization, and works for a fair distribution of the world's resources. FIVH has fought for textile workers rights for decades, and will be our experts when developing the script, during the shoot and in post-production. Fivh is also the Norwegian affiliate of Clean Clothes Campaign, an alliance of organisations in 16 European countries. Since 1989, the CCC has worked to help ensure that the fundamental rights of workers in the global garnment and sportswear industries are respected. CCC will help us distribute the series and the documentary in their network.
This is our budget
We have allready managed to raise 250.000 NOK (30.000 USD aprox) for Sweatshop - A Living Wage. We are (almost) halfway there!!! But we need your help to fully fund and make this important series a reality. Our Kickstarter goal is 300.000 NOK, which translates to roughly 35.000 USD. Every cent of the money raised (except the fees to Kickstarter) will be used on the production of the series. This is how we will use the money raised (in NOK):
Special video message from Cambodia
Get a special video message from Cambodia free to share on social media. Help us spread the word, and show that you want textile workers to be paid a living wage. Pledges of 80 kroner and up.
Invitation to the premiere event
Get inspired by speakers from Future in Our Hands, Clean Clothes Campaign and CEO's from the responsible textile industry. Hear testimonies from Cambodian textile workers, ask the crew and cast, try Cambodian cuisine and be the first to see the full Season 2 of Sweatshop! The event will take place in Oslo, Norway mid-February. Pledges of 500 kroner and up.
Free download of the documentary
Get a digital download of the Sweatshop - A living Wage, free to use in private screenings and events. Pledges of 1000 kroner and up.
An exclusive talk at your organization or company
Frida will come to your organization or company and share her experiences working with the Sweatshop-series. She will talk about workers rights, the importance of living wages and show exclusive footage from the making of Sweatshop. Based outside Norway? Don't worry. Get in touch and we will find a solution on how to arrange the event at your location. Maybe as a web-conference? Pledges of 15.000 kroner and up.
Get your logo in the credits
Welcome to the Sweatshop team! You or your organization or business are now part of the Sweatshop team and get credited as sponsors (with your logo) in the series and the documentary.
Risks and challenges
We are 100% confident that we will make an engaging, entertaining and important series with Sweatshop - A Living Wage. What we cannot control however, is the media attention the new season will get. It is a hard world full of news and important stories out there.... But with the success of the first season, a fantastic cast, an experienced crew, and most importantly your help and support, we believe Sweatshop - A Living Wage will help to bring the labour rights for textile workers to the attention of media, the general public and decision-makers.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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