Fashion Factories Undercover is the 6th episode of the 3rd season of ITV's Exposure series. The documentary places hidden cameras on two women working in a Bangladeshi garment factory, Olira Fashions. Laboni and Lota, two factory employees were willing to go undercover because they wanted to show the continued violations of basic safety tenants and grim working conditions even after the Rana Plaza collapse in 2013, in which more than a 1000 people were killed and over 2,500 were injured. Images of the tragic aftermath - including the now iconic and heartbreaking photo of a couple who passed away holding hands - dominated the headline for days.
Over the course of 50 minutes, Fashion Factories Undercover systematically exposed a number of problems that continue to plague garment industry workers in Bangladesh.
Here's what we learnt:
According to Scott Nova of the Workers Right Consortium, brands and retailers had entered into talks to partially fund the renovation of these buildings, thereby making them 'safe factories'. Even though the talks failed, an interesting point is raised. What are the differences between sweatshops and factories?
To wrap up...
Overall, the documentary raised more questions than it answered but we reckon that was the whole point. So, where do we go from here? Watch out for updates in The Sweatshop Debate where we'll continue to unpack the complicated questions that surface as we dig deeper into the Bangladeshi garment industry.