Reality Show Puts Fashion Bloggers To Work In A Sweatshop

Sweatshop Deadly Fashion is just about as ominous as it sounds. The premise includes a group of fashion bloggers — Frida, Ludvig, and Anniken — who are placed far outside their comfort zones, and challenged to live and work in a sweatshop in Phnom Penh, Cambodia for a month. Right off the bat they’re exposed to some of the harsh realities that keep workers caught in a vicious cycle of poverty: low, low wages; insane working hours; and insufficient living conditions. That’s all within the first couple episodes.

As expected, some of the Sweatshop scenes are difficult to watch. This type of first-hand experience puts faces and names to the factory horrors we usually only read about, and gives us a look inside the homes and personal experiences we’re not typically privy to.

All the episodes are available online on Aftenposten with English subtitles. Watch the trailer above and click over for the full season.

Some good learnin’ right there. There are barely any factories in the US or developed countries, so there are generations of young people who cannot imagine doing manual labor along side their parents and neighbors.

I worked in two sweatshops when I was a teenager - Hasbro and Slater Dye Works, big factories located in Pawtucket Rhode Island. At Hasbro, 12 of us would stand on a long assembly line/conveyor belt and build thousands of Mr. and Mrs. Potato Heads, G.I. Joes, baby toys, etc. The factory was loud, hot, and full of illegal immigrant women. Factory managers would inspect our lunch boxes and bags for stolen toys. Not fun, but I needed to work at the time. Slater Dye was also a large, dirty, brick factory in RI. I was a ‘wide-tube operator’ and inspected huge rolls of fabric. The rolls were about 15 feet wide, held thousands of square feet of printed fabric, and were moved around the factory by special forklifts. The rolls were hooked up to a machine that would unroll the roll over a wall where I could inspect for burns, holes, and misaligned screen prints. The fabric would be shipped to secondary factories (like Ralph Lauren) where the material was cut and sewed into curtains, sheets, clothes, and other items. Anyway, factories are intense.


I created a series of four spot illustrations to be published in a magazine for the Tata Group. 

The artwork accompanied information about:

Skills - Tata Steel has one of the largest apprentice schemes in the UK

Efficiency - Using the same amount of steel, Tata Steel could recycle the Eiffel Tower and build three exact copies

Ubiquity - Every single commercial aircraft currently in production has Tata Steel in it

Extremes - The inside of a Tata Steel blast furnace is hotter than the interior of an active volcano


"Ten years ago on this day in September, the last Maytag refrigerator moved down the assembly line in Galesburg, Illinois, a quiet little city of 32,000 on the western edge of the Rust Belt. Workers signed the white appliance with a black Sharpie as it passed, said their goodbyes, and left to start new lives."

Chad Broughton discusses what happens to a manufacturing town a decade after the primary employer leaves.


Scabal is perhaps the standard bearer for the global luxury wool industry. This is a company with a mission to re-establish the emotional connection between exquisite fabrics and their origins. A mission which The Rake is only too happy to support…

Read the full story in Issue 38, available on the news stand now.


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New Delhi based Bloomberg photographer Udit Kulshrestha recently spent time documenting the range of operations at the Jindal Steel and Power Ltd. plant in Raigarh, Chhattisgargh, India.

The plant, which Jindal claim to be the world’s largest coal-based direct-reduced iron facility in the world, can produce up to 3 million tonnes of steel per year. It contains a blast furnace, sinter plant, melting shop and several different kinds of steel mill. It also has its own captive power plant, mining facilities nearby and a cement plant that utilizes waste produced during steel manufacturing.

The International Monetary Fund predicts India will next year grow faster than Brazil, Russia and China for the first time since 1999. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pledge to make it easier for businesses to invest in India could act as a trigger for growth and boost demand for steel.

India’s steel demand will probably grow at the fastest pace among the top three consuming nations in the world in 2015, based on an October forecast by the World Steel Association. India’s alloy consumption will probably rise at 6 percent this year, compared with 0.8 percent for China and 1.9 percent for the U.S., the World Steel Association said.

Photographer: Udit Kulshrestha/Bloomberg

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