Workout for Wereldsolidariteit
We wanted to show athletes how much people who make their sports apparel suffer in terms they could understand. That's why we fitted a factory worker with off-the-shelf fitness monitoring devices during a normal day of work.
"You like to suffer in your sportswear but nobody likes to suffer for your sportswear."
Still, everyday more than 650,000 Cambodians go to work in garment factories to make the sports clothes in which millions of athletes and sports enthusiasts push themselves to the limits. Six days out of seven, the workers in textile factories in Cambodia and other Asian countries deliver unbelievable performances, comparable to actual sporting performances, just to make our sports clothing. And they do this in inhumane conditions.
Starting from this insight, we carried out an undercover experiment aimed at demonstrating the poor working conditions in Cambodian textile factories. We secretly recorded data by a worker in a Cambodian clothing factory. She wore several fitness gadgets which measured her vital functions during one working day. We measured heart rate, calories burned, humidity, hours worked and temperature to show how hard they worked. We also demonstrated how little they get paid to produce these items that are sold at a premium around the world. At the end of the day, it turned out that this worker really pushed herself to the limit – just like the athletes who would end up wearing the clothes she makes.
We created a 2' online film to document our experiment, along with a 30" TV commercial (re-enactment) - asking members of the public to sign a petition to demand better working conditions for garment factory workers. With this petition, we put pressure on sport clothing brands so that, in future, they will use safe factories for their production, where human rights are respected and where workers earn a decent salary.
After only two weeks, the petition already gathered more than 10,000 signatures, including prominent Belgian politicians and athletes.