Blood, Sweat and Luxuries
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 this episode the Brits 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.
While there’s no surprise to the community of lowly paid workers they encounter, there is shock at the extent of the poverty, exploitation and appalling risks involved in getting gemstones to market.
There’s no escaping the white-missionary vibe of the show, especially when the rich white kids try offering life advice to one impoverished worker. But there’s also no denying the cultural gulf between them and us, nor the delight in seeing our stars having their self-obsession taken down a notch or two.
Released in June, 2010. 60 min. Director: Anna Stickland. Suggested by Kate.