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Episode 2 of 5

Duration: 1 hour

Six young British consumers swap their luxury lives for the simple mud huts and shanty towns of Africa and Asia to work alongside the people who mine, manufacture, process and recycle luxury goods.

The Brits leave Madagascar and head to one of Africa's poorest countries, Ethiopia, and its capital Addis Ababa where they join some of the thousands of locals who rely on the leather industry to survive.

Working in abattoirs, tanneries and leather factories that supply shoes to Europe's high streets tempers begin to fray. Sam and Alex lose patience with Oscar, as does the supervisor. But when the girls discover how little money one of the young shoe factory workers has to live on, they in turn take on the boss.

Shocked by the realisation that our leather goods have such poor beginnings, the Brits soon learn that the bigger luxury is the one we take for granted - the luxury of choice. Will anyone ever have the same love for their leather goods again?

  • Photo: Lucy at the Jamaica Shoe Factory in Ethiopia

    Photo: Lucy at the Jamaica Shoe Factory in Ethiopia

    Designer leather products are becoming a big export business in Ethiopia.

  • Photo: George, Alex and James at an abattoir in Addis Ababa

    Photo: George, Alex and James at an abattoir in Addis Ababa

    Addis Ababa is the largest city in Ethiopia and has over 3 million residents.

  • BBC Three blog

    BBC Three blog

    Head over to the BBC Three blog and discuss the human costs behind everyday luxuries.

    BBC Three blog: What are the human costs of our luxuries?


James Christie-Miller
James Christie-Miller
Executive Producer
Mark Rubens
Executive Producer
Tim Quicke


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