Sew until you Drop? On the Road with German Inspectors in Asia

A film by Frank Sieren
45 minute documentary
First broadcast: 08.12.2010
Under pressure from the media and non-governmental organisations, suppliers like the Otto Group, the biggest mail order business in Europe and C&A, one of Europe’s largest retailers have in the meantime developed an inspection system, in order to reduce the exploitation of workers in Asian factories. Is the work of the inspectors’ only company PR or do they actually improve the conditions of the seamstresses and weavers?
The Asia specialist and best-selling author (The China Shock) Frank Sieren visited just under twenty factories in China, Bangladesh and India. He reveals the inspectors’ conflict between commerce and minimum social standards, between local circumstances and German benchmarks. However Sieren also reveals the consequences of the customers’ desire to have the cheapest possible products. Sometimes the inspectors who are under enormous pressure are no longer able to control their emotions. They get enraged or even burst into tears. With this film one is able to see how exciting, entertaining and investigative it can be to just simply show the world as it is. A world in which good and bad cannot so simply be separated.