World Solidarity (WSM) and ACV-CSC go undercover in Cambodia for their campaign on “clean” sportswear (#cleanekleren - #vêtements clean)

"You like to suffer in your sportswear but nobody likes to suffer for your sportswear”. This is the slogan for the most recent campaign for “clean” sportswear, calling for a larger share of sportswear produced in good working conditions. The campaign, launched in March 2017, is led by World Solidarity (WSM) and ACV-CSC. Together with Boondoggle, a communication agency, they went undercover in Cambodia, to uncover the bad working conditions in garment factories over there.

The sportswear we use is manufactured on the other side of the world, often in inhumane working conditions. We happily pay for an expensive outfit to go running or cycling, but the working women and men who produce that outfit are paid very low wages. Combined with long days in factories where heat rises to extreme temperatures, this means that the performances of these garment workers are actually comparable to those of professional athletes. This is the reality for millions of garment workers in Cambodia and in other Asian countries, where they are pushing themselves to their limits six days out of seven in order to make our sportswear.

We are consumers, we buy this sportswear. This gives us power and a lever to raise our voices demanding that companies improve the working conditions in their supply chain. But everything starts with raising awareness, because many consumers do not know in which conditions their clothes – as well as other goods and services – are produced.

So WSM and ACV-CSC decided to launch this campaign to raise awareness within and outside the Christian Labour Movement in Belgium. To support the baseline of the campaign, they organized an undercover operation together with C.CAWDU, the largest and independent garment workers federation in Cambodia. C.CAWDU identified a courageous woman, member of the union, and for one working day, she wore a number of fitness gadgets, measuring her vital functions. At the end of the day the measurements showed a top performance by the garment worker. Unfortunately these top performances are neither for pleasure, nor are they matched by a top salary.

She tells her story in a gripping TV advert and calls upon people to sign the petition on the campaign’s website : www.cleanekleren.be or www.vetementsclean.be. The aim of the petition is to increase pressure on companies producing sportswear to ensure good working conditions in their supply chain, with respect for human rights and where workers get paid a living wage. The story behind the TV advert is told in a longer case movie, with an interview with the garment worker.

  • Watch the full case movie here
  • Share the videos and promote the campaign on Facebook and Twitter

#cleanekleren is a campaign in favour of sportswear produced in good working conditions. The campaign is led by World Solidarity (WSM, the Solidarity Support Organisation of the Christian Labour Movement in Belgium) and ACV-CSC (the Confederation of Christian Trade Unions in Belgium) and involves several other organisations in the Christian Labour Movement : ACV Sporta, ACV-CSC METEA, ACV Voeding en Diensten-CSC Alimentation et Services, LBC-NVK, CNE, kwb, OKRA-SPORT+, énéo Sport, achAct and Schone Kleren Campagne.

Contact Jaklien Broekx - Press Officer WSM - jaklien.broekx@wsm.be