Unit 4 - Is it ethical?
The cost of cheap fashion
Watch the following clip:
BBC Addicted to Cheap Clothing: How Clothes got Cheaper
When you buy a piece of clothing, you may not think twice about where it was originally made, by whom and under what conditions. In January 2009 the real cost of cheap fashion came under the spotlight as factory workers making clothes to supply Primark shops were found to have been working in awful conditions.
- BBC Newsround: Primark linked to UK sweat shops [Flash Video]
As a class, discuss the differences and similarities in the conditions faced by textile workers in the news story and mill workers in nineteenth and twentieth century Belfast. Use the following link to help pupils understand the meaning of the terms ‘sweatshop goods’ and ‘fair trade’.
- BBC Newsround: What are Sweat shop goods [article]
- BBC Newsround: What is Fair Trade? [article and flash video]
Ask the pupils to carry out a survey to find out attitudes in school to child labour. Challenge pupils to decide what questions they will ask and then record and present results using ICT.
Pupils can click on the link below to look at photographs of children working in the cotton industry in Egypt. Ask pupils to describe what they see in the photographs to a partner. Tell them to note down anything they saw which surprised or shocked them and then use what they have learned to write descriptions of what life is like for these children.
- Guardian: Egyptian cotton and Child Labour [external link: article]