Students Against Sweatshops

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Our work as “Wear the Justice” started with the inquiry question “Are our uniforms made in sweatshops?” A sweatshop is a manufacturing facility employing workers at low wages, for long hours, and under poor conditions. 

Our goal is simple: To encourage people to buy clothing made in Canada where we have better labour laws.

Wear the Justice have presented at an Eco Spirituality Conference and at a school wide assembly at Francis Libermann as guest speakers. We also hosted a photo shoot at our school related to sweatshops, where we helped students track their CA numbers.

There were professional photographers that took pictures of students with the aid of cool props, which was fun and informative at the same time. Students and teachers were then guided to look at the tags on their clothing to see the country their clothing was made in. This way they can compare the price they bought their clothing for to the amount the sweatshop worker earned to make that piece of clothing.

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These split images were done by Vivek Wu – photographer. It symbolizes the sweatshop workers (left side) and the the customer which are us (right side)

 

From the statistics we collected, about 64% of clothes (uniform and civvies) were made in China, where the minimum wage is $0.44 cents/hr. We were happy to see how the students were shocked and interested about the difference in what they paid verses the amount the worker earned. To add some creativity to our project the photographer told us to do a “split image” with only our team members.

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We used an old shirt and added spots of red paint, a hand print, burned parts of the shirt, and cut out some holes on the left side. This symbolized the blood, burn marks, and ripped clothing of the sweatshop workers. In addition, we made a video that was submitted to the Catholic Film Festival (TCFF) that placed in the top ten. Now the video will be screened at Younge and Dundas Cineplex Theatre on April 21, 2016.

 

 

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 You can also make a difference!

Here are some steps to get started:

  1. Don’t look at the quantity of what you buy, but look at the quality
  2. Don’t get so hyped up about the latest fashion trends because trends change every week and you shouldn’t be buying clothes ever weekend
  3. Be aware and check the tags before purchasing your clothes. (Try buying only Canadian made items)
  4. Recycle and reuse old items

 

 

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About the Author

We are a group of girls (Andria, Hera, Kamsana, Subathy and Unmole) called "Wear the Justice", who are passionate about spreading awareness about sweatshops.

If you would like to support us in our social justice work please follow us on Twitter @wear_thejustice and Instagram @wear_the_justice , where we post facts and powerful pictures related to sweatshops. If you have any questions or want to learn more about our campaign you can email us at wearthejustice@gmail.com.

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