‘Blood, Sweat & T shirts’

During today’s lecture we watched episode 1 of the BBC three documentary ‘Blood, Sweat and T Shirts’ focusing on a bunch of British teenagers in their early 20s who all have an interest in fashion and where it comes from. This episode in particular takes them to India, to stay and to learn about how the factory workers live, as well as to try and complete training to become a machinist. It really opened my eyes as a Textiles student to the intensity of mass produced fabric and clothing especially in India’s factories, a few facts that just astonished me were that, on average 300 garments a day are produced on each production line and that the average worker only earns around 20p an hour working 6 days a week to live off.

The programme left me thinking, are we the consumer to blame for the mass production? As a nation we are obsessed with discounts sales and throw away fashion at affordable prices. Meaning that costs have to be cut to make profits, leaving the workers empty handed with such low wages, however during the episode we were told that at the time Calvin Klein clothes are being made next to Gap, yet the retail prices are quite different. Leaving me wondering if these big designers are just profiting off the cheap labour costs?

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