From time to time we read something about heavy work conditions in large factories, but do we ever stop for a minute and really think about the workers? Do we even want to know more after we put on our new jacket? The Canadian Fair Trade Network came up with an amazing idea to inform people about the terrible conditions workers are in, and what they go through in order to make comfortable clothes for us. These sad stories were written on the labels of clothes, so you can’t miss them even if you want to. The Creative project conducted by agency Rethink shows us everything we should know but don’t know.

Check out these moving stories below:

100% cotton. Made in Cambodia by Behnly, nine years old. He gets up at 5:00 am every morning to make his way to the garment factory where he works. It will be dark when he arrives and dark when he leaves. He dresses lightly because the temperature in the room he works reaches 30 degrees. The dust in the room fills his nose and mouth. He will make less than a dollar, for a day spent slowly suffocating. A mask would cost the company ten cents. The label doesn’t tell the whole story.

Sad stories of workers who made this products

100% cotton. Made in Sierra Leone by Tejan. The first few times he coughed up blood he hid it from his family. They couldn’t afford medical treatment and he couldn’t risk losing his long-time job at the cotton plantation. When he fell into a seizure one day it could no longer be ignored. The diagnosis was pesticide poisoning. The lack of proper protective clothing has left him with leukemia at the age of 34. He has two daughters. One of them starts work at the factory next year. The label doesn’t tell the whole story.

Siera Leone true story of the workers

100% cotton. Made in Bangladesh by Joya who left school at the age of twelve to help support her two brothers and newly widowed mother. Her father was killed when a fire ripped through the cotton factory where he works. She now works in the building across the street from the burned down factory. A constant reminder of the risk she takes everyday. The label doesn’t tell the whole story.

Life stories written on the clothing labels


Client: Canadian Fair Trade Network
Agency: Rethink, Toronto, Vancouver, Montréal
Creative Directors: Ian Grais, Chris Staples
Art Director: Leia Rogers
Writers: Arrabelle Stravoff, Danielle Haythorne
Print Producers: Cary Emley, Sue Wilkinson
Photographer: Clinton Hussey
Studio Artist, Typographer: Jonathon Cesar
Account Manager: Albane Rousellot

Images: Rethink