Fashionscapes: A Living Wage is a new short film that aims to help end poverty wages in the fashion industry. Released on 24 April 2021, on the 8th anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy, the documentary combines the voices of garment workers on the ground with top legal professionals who are working together to argue for the first-ever EU legislation to ensure garment workers receive a living wage.
The project has been brought to life by Andrew Morgan, director of acclaimed documentary True Cost, and Eco-Age founder Livia Firth.
The fourth and latest addition to the Fashionscapes investigative short documentary series available on Eco-Age TV, sees Morgan and Firth follow the story of the activists and change-makers calling time on the poverty wages that trap millions of garment workers in never-ending poverty. For the first time, the industry faces a coordinated, structured challenge through international law.
The film focuses on the garment workers and representatives in ‘garment hotspots’ silenced by brands. Morgan and Firth speak to the network of garment workers and activists they have maintained contact with over a decade.
They uncover a flow of evidence, carried by women from the factory gates of ‘secret’ factories to a network of female legal professionals across the world, led by lawyers in The Circle, a global NGO using the collective power of women to support the world’s most vulnerable women and girls.
"The fast fashion brands that have fobbed off civil society activists for years on living wage are being driven to change by a powerful alliance of women," says Firth.
She adds: "This documentary brings together women who are experts in poverty, degradation and injustice because as garment workers in their supply chains they live it every day with women at the top of their international legal careers. The resulting report and strategy is borne out of mutual respect and commitment. It holds the brands and retailers who have always maintained that a living wage isn’t possible, to account.
"A string of broken promises can now be challenged on the basis of a human obligation to protect human rights. I can now see a day when we will get justice for garment workers."
Morgan comments, "This one is personal for me. After years spent witnessing first-hand the human rights emergency that is the modern-day fashion industry, I believe this moment holds the possibility for a new and needed chapter in this story. I’m so honoured to stand in solidarity with the game changers at The Circle, my ferocious friend Livia Firth and with millions of the world’s poorest workers everywhere in demanding an end to the grotesque exploitation of the world’s poorest workers."
Marisa Selfa, CEO North Sails says, “Simply put, an eye-opener. We've made it mandatory viewing at North Sails Apparel, and I believe everyone in the apparel industry should watch it as well. Some of the data is truly shocking...$6 a month for 400 hours work?! We are honoured to be a part of this amazing project. Our hope is this helps to drive the urgent change the fashion industry is responsible for.”
Fashionscapes: A Living Wage was filmed in countries across the world, using local crews complying with Covid regulations, with the support of Pulse Films Italia. The movie has been supported by The Circle and North Sails.