By now you've probably seen the trailer above for the Norwegian documentary series, Sweatshop, filling every corner of the Internet. The series follows three fashion bloggers as they are sent to Cambodia to work in a sweatshop, and experience the lives of those on the other end of their vocation.
As is evident, the lives of those producing the clothes are far from glamourous, and the reaction of these bloggers indicates exactly how real the situation is.
If you're able to read this post right now on your Internet-connected device, chances are that you also belong to the group of society that can afford to 'want something and buy it', as well as 'stock up on it in a few different colours'. Perhaps then, you'd agree with me that too often we appreciate the end result, and we overlook the process, work, and craftsmanship involved in the creation of products. In fact, sometimes we don't even appreciate the product at all (e.g. buying cheap clothes with the intention of getting them dirty and throwing them out straight afterwards or buying something because it's on sale, but never actually wearing it or buying something and forgetting that you even own it). In the case of the factory workers, imagine not having the chance to appreciate the product at all, as well as having your effort and your identity as an individual completely overlooked as well.
Moreover, I think that most would agree that the bloggers look completely out of place in that factory, and yet how terrible is it that we can say such a thing! How can a particular type of injustice been associated with, even normalised regarding any group in society? Why aren't we doing more to eradicate such accepted stereotypes? How did we let it get this far? Why aren't we rewriting history, forging new paths, creating better life chances, and seeking the best for every individual despite what is already accepted or expected?
Whilst the life of a blogger seems very attractive and lucrative, it is important to us here at KINGDOM. that you understand that we do not blog just for those reasons, nor for kicks, recognition, invites, or free stuff. We employ the medium of blogging as activism. The reason we blog about fashion is to draw your attention to issues like the ones highlighted in the series, and hopefully inspire and motivate you to get off your butt and do something about it!
Thank you to the hearts and minds behind Sweatshop for stepping up to raise awareness about issues in the fashion industry. I sincerely hope that this series opens your eyes to the realities of the fashion industry, and helps you to understand why we need to be conscientious consumers. Never underestimate your power as a consumer - we can call the shots.
You can watch the entire series (with English subtitles) here - and I urge that you do.
Get educated. Get motivated. Get going.