the real cost of that $5 T-shirt

This is a long, (but completely worth the time), documentary about the true cost of cheap clothes.

We tell ourselves that it’s better that these workers have a job making $3/day than their not have a job at all, but I wonder if that’s really the answer. At one point, we’re told that doubling their salaries would add 3 cents to the cost of a T-shirt. That seems more than fair. In fact, let’s raise their salaries x100.

The scenes at 1:20 are shameful; the scene a few moments later — when a garment worker has to leave her young daughter with her extended family, a daughter who she will then see a couple of times a year, because the conditions in the city are not conducive to her health or education — is heartbreaking.

There has to be a better way.


Enter “TakePart” to watch…

2 Responses to “the real cost of that $5 T-shirt”

  1. May 31, 2015 at 3:28 am

    As you, I am troubled by this situation. I often look at an item I’ve bought and wonder who has suffered in its making. I would gladly pay somewhat more for many goods if I knew the extra payment would go to the people who really worked hard in production/transport/retail. But how to achieve that is not easily answered – by me, anyway.

    • June 4, 2015 at 8:27 am

      It is a thorny problem. Does not buying clothes made in Bangladesh help the people who are working in Bangladesh have better working conditions? I am trying to buy stuff made in countries where people are paid more fairly, but I don’t know for sure that’s the answer. I do think it would help if people wouldn’t buy stuff and wear it three times and then throw it away, or not care if it falls apart. Another Ani line comes to mind: “What a waste of thumbs that are opposable making things that are disposable…”

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