Segments in this Video

What Is Globalization? (01:19)


Globalization of the textile industry raises a host of ethical questions and issues. Globalization in the world of textiles generally means people elsewhere in the world are paying for the real cost of garments.

Textile Industry of Bangladesh (01:56)

In Dhaka, Bangladesh, 4 million people work in thousands of textile factories. Most are paid about $600/year. One such factory is geared up to produce 20,000 items per day on each of 5 floors of assembly areas.

Foreign Investments (02:18)

Because of lower labor costs, textiles have come to dominate Bangladesh's economy. The government continues its focus on attracting orders and investments from multinational retailers. The government always sides with factory owners over workers.

A Fair Wage? (04:17)

Textile workers are forced to do overtime, working up to 100 hours per week. Working long hours is the only way to survive on the low wages. Many textile workers live in squalor, surrounded by raw sewage and garbage. Why? Because consumers want bargain prices on clothing.

Fair Conditions? (04:00)

The price of name brand clothing in the developed world is made possible by extreme poverty and suffering on the part of Third World textile workers. Consumer pressure is forcing manufacturers to raise compliance standards. Compliance teams monitor factories regularly.

Unethical Practices (02:03)

When factory workers talk to inspectors, they claim to have good pay and working conditions. Factory management controls what workers say to outside visitors. Many factories have two sets of paperwork: one for inspectors and one showing what really goes on.

False Front for Inspectors (01:34)

Underage factory workers are told to hide and to stop working when inspectors arrive. The young workers claim they must work in order to feed their families. Factory owners claim that meeting compliance standards is pushing them to the brink.

Globalized Business: Key Players (01:14)

Multinational companies are key players in demanding low costs that hurt workers. They have the primary responsibility for the betterment of the total workforce in textile manufacturing.

Fair Trade? (03:25)

Fair trade practices mean forming long-term relationships with suppliers rather than shopping around for cheaper labor. Investing in people rather than machinery is a key idea of fair trade.

Labor and Management Relationships (01:04)

In rural areas where fair trade practices are the norm, workers are supplied with childcare and a primary school for younger children. Workers and managers have friendlier relationships than in urban factories.

Textile Buyers and Workers (01:32)

Buyers can be educated to make decisions that do not have negative impacts on workers. Those workers who do handwork have the responsibility of assuring the quality of their work.

Skilled Labor (02:28)

When a new collection is introduced in a fair trade facility, production managers meet with pattern cutters and other skilled workers. The idea is to make the best use of workers' skills from the beginning.

Challenges to Growth of Fair Trade Businesses (01:36)

Fair trade improves the lives of garment workers. There are two key challenges, however. How can businesses upscale when workers have to live nearby? Giving producers a bigger share means charging consumers a little more.

Credits: The Cost of Cloth: Ethical Textiles (00:09)

Credits: The Cost of Cloth: Ethical Textiles

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The Cost of Cloth: Ethical Textiles

Part of the Series : Ethical Textiles: Sustainability and Fair Trade
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $129.95
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3-Year Streaming Price: $129.95



Filmed in Bangladesh, one of the world’s most active textile-producing countries, this program explores the social cost of the textile industry, which benefits mostly Western consumers and capitalists while creating oppressive environments in the developing world. Using eye-opening footage shot inside a number of Bangladeshi textile factories, the film explores issues of sweatshop labor—including poor working conditions, unfair wages, and the right to unionize—and asks viewers to consider where the responsibility for improving industry practices should lie. The program then compares the social impact of mass-scale textile production with the benefits brought to a small rural community in Bangladesh by a fair trade textile initiative. A part of the series Ethical Textiles: Sustainability and Fair Trade. (30 minutes)

Length: 30 minutes

Item#: BVL48263

ISBN: 978-1-62102-671-6

Copyright date: ©2011

Closed Captioned

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