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.