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AMFI event shines spotlight on terrible conditions of textile workers

By Huw Hughes

Sep 3, 2019


For three days, students at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI) are working in a mock sweatshop in order to shine a spotlight on the terrible conditions in which many textile workers are forced to work.

Running between 3 to 5 September, all second-year Fashion & Management students will be producing sustainable denim bags which will then be donated to refugees. To imitate real sweatshop conditions, students will be given a specific task as part of a larger assembly line, and there will be no breaks, food or drinks. If breaks are taken, the time of the overall workday will be extended.

AMFI said the goal of the event is to “create awareness among the students and to let them experience in real life the lack of social responsibility of many brands.”

It is the fourth consecutive year AMFI students have staged the sweatshop.

The goal is to manufacture one hundred denim bags: 50 pieces are for people who are temporarily living on Campus Kara Tepe, Lesvos, while the remaining 50 will be sold and the profit will be donated to save the Amazon.

The bags are multifunctional and can be worn over the shoulder and as a backpack. The denim is leftover from previously donated fabrics by Tommy Hilfiger and Candiani, while the labels will be made of the same denim and have been edited by the students themselves in the HvA Makerslab. The supplies are sponsored by Claudia Sträter and Expresso.

Photo courtesy of AMFI

Amsterdam Fashion Institute