NEW YORK (Mar. 13, 2023) – The annual South by Southwest (SXSW) conference is underway in Austin, Texas, celebrating the latest in tech, film, music, education, and culture. The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) and Le Truc, a creative collective within Publicis Groupe, are there to bring human rights to the forefront of discussions.
HRF and Le Truc are exhibiting a Discounted Lives installation, which creatively reveals the real-time costs of fast fashion on the Uyghur people forced to work in the industry. The interactive installation displays two racks of T-shirts, one listed at $4.99 and the other at $44.99. Receipts show the reasons behind the discounts, including forced labor and human rights violations, that account for the large price difference.
“The widespread use of Uyghur forced labor in the fashion industry is alarming, and it is reflective of a human rights crisis that impacts each of our daily purchasing decisions. More than one million innocent Uyghurs and Turkic Muslims are currently arbitrarily detained, working in forced labor camps across China,” HRF President Céline Assaf-Boustani said. “What you save costs them everything — their bodies, their families, their entire identities, and even their lives. It’s high time for both companies and consumers alike to no longer tolerate such modern-day slavery.”
With this initiative, HRF and Le Truc remind SXSW attendees that when consumers buy heavily discounted goods from countries exploiting workers, they discount their lives in every sense of the word.
Wear Your Values is an HRF program that engages the fashion industry in the human rights movement, promotes transparency in the supply chain, and brings awareness to the hidden social costs of the industry through educational articles, events, exhibitions, panel discussions, and talks. HRF is part of the Coalition to End Forced Labour in the Uyghur Region, dedicated to ending forced labor and human rights violations perpetrated by the Chinese government against the Uyghur population and other Turkic and Muslim-majority people.
The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.
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