The Label Doesn't Tell the Whole Story

The Canadian Fair Trade Network and ReThink Communications have teamed up and launched the "The Label Doesn't Tell the Whole Story" campaign. This campaign is aimed at bringing awareness to and getting people thinking, talking and taking action on ongoing issues within garment and textile production and manufacturing. This series of thought-provoking clothing labels have been photographed in a bid to raise awareness of the horrific plight of those toiling in sweatshops around the world.

We're hoping that these images will make people think about the garments they are wearing and just where they have come from. Teaming up with the advertising agency Rethink, the photographs feature clothing labels telling the tragic stories of factory workers from Bangladesh, Cambodia and Sierra Leone. Each label says that the product is 100 per cent cotton - but adds that is not the whole story and follows on with a snap shot of just who could have made the item.


One of the labels, sewn into a yellow, cable jumper, reveals a day in the life of Behnly and reads: 'Made in Cambodia by Behnly, nine years old. He gets up at 5am 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.'


A red hooded top focuses on the life of Tejan, a father-of-two, and bears the label: '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.'


The final image, of a smart jacket, highlights a working day for 12-year-old Joya.

The label says: 'Made in Bangladesh by Joya who left school at the age of 12 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.'

'It's time for change,' said the Canadian Fair Trade Network. 'Buying fairtrade ensures workers are being compensated fairly and not exposed to unsafe working conditions.'

Please like, post, tweet and share these images, as together we can and will bring change.

April 24th is Fashion Revolution Day, a now annual event which invites people from around the world to turn their clothing inside out to display the label, take a selfie and ask #whomademyclothes via Twitter.

Start Date: 
Sunday, March 1, 2015 to Friday, April 24, 2015
The Canadian Fair Trade Network and ReThink Communications