Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available


Episode 1 of 5

Six British consumers work alongside luxury goods makers in Africa and Asia. In Madagascar, James, Alexandria and Lucy learn where gems and jewellery sold in Britain come from.

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.

In Britain today, what were once luxuries are fast becoming everyday items. From electrical gadgets to leather handbags and shoes, as more and more is consumed, products are increasingly disposable. Would consumers care more if they knew the human cost of making luxuries?

The Brits head to the isolated mining town of Ilakaka in Madagascar to discover where the gems and jewellery sold on the British high street come from. In the vast open-pit mines they join hundreds of workers in chain gangs digging for one of the most sought-after gems in the world - sapphires. When the back-breaking work becomes too much for James, Alexandria and Lucy they're shocked to discover the alternative - a makeshift 50-foot-deep mine shaft accessed by rope and pulley.

Soon it's not just the extreme working conditions and hand-to-mouth existence of the locals that shock the Brits, but the value of the rough stones compared to the expensive shiny jewellery for sale in Western shops. Will they have the same love for luxuries again?

1 hour

Last on

Sun 6 Jun 2010 02:55

More episodes


You are at the first episode


See all episodes from Blood, Sweat and Luxuries


Role Contributor
Director James Christie-Miller
Producer James Christie-Miller
Executive Producer Mark Rubens
Executive Producer Tim Quicke