Sweatshop – Chouchou & Coco
Workers condition of the sweatshop in Bangladesh:
- Earn little more than the minimum wage, set at 3,000 taka a month (approximately £25), far below what is considered a living wage
- Many are forced to work 14-16 hours a day seven days a week, with some workers finishing at 3 am only to start again the same morning at 7.30 am.
- Since 1990, more than 400 workers have died and several thousand more have been wounded in 50 major factory fires.
- The 2013 Savar building collapse was a structural failure that occurred on 24 April 2013 in Dhaka District, Bangladesh, where an five-story commercial building named Rana Plaza collapsed. The search for the dead ended on 13 May 2013 with a death toll of 1,134. The main causes of the accident is the additional of 3 floors above the original permit, the use of substandard construction material, and most importantly, the ignorance of the complaint from the garment workers of feeling the shaking of the building.
With no vested rights, workers have no way to protest in law. They have also no choice to continue working here because this is the only job they can get because of their low educational level. It is a vicious circle.
The source of these sweatshops is the low-price, fast-trend fast-fashion companies, for example, Zara. With a lower price, people start to buy and change more kinds of clothes during a year. For high-end brands, there may be only two collections for one year, but in order to chase the steps of these fast fashion companies which provide 50~60 collections a year for customers, they also speeded up. Buying more means discarding and wasting more. Unconsciously, these fast-fashion companies had already change the rule of industry, the purchasing habit of customers, as well as our environment and climate just because of a higher profit.
The relationship between the fast-fashion company and sweatshop workers, and between human and environment are similar. As the master on the earth, which we think we are, or to say, be reflected on what we are doing, we care nothing about the environment and get as many resources as we can. Similar to the fast-fashion companies, the only thing they care about is profit, no matter how bad the workers’ working condition is, how bad these environmental-unfriendly materials they use to make the garments. The only difference is that the environment will threaten us if we still keep on breaking it, however, the workers have no power to protest.
sweatshop <——–> workers
human <——–> environment
We are considering making an installation in shape of a lung or other stuff which could represent the health of workers of the health of the whole environment. And fulfill it with the product of fast-fashion. It has a fragile, glamorous look outside but whenever you fetch a product our from it, it will show out the ugly and dirty heart. You have the choice to put it back or just keeping it. In other words, you also have the choice to keep the right for the workers or continue buying those fast-fashion products regardless the negative influence they made to both environment and the workers.