John Oliver on Sweatshops
Posted: May 08 2015
I may be a little late to the party, but I just saw John Oliver’s sweatshop segment, which aired on HBO April 26th.
Sometimes you have to laugh in order not to cry. This piece takes a look at the egregious behavior of big retailers. It explains where all that cheap clothing comes from, and it’s not a pretty picture.
My husband and I have a soft place in our hearts for John Oliver.
When we were in our former incarnation as a TV crew, we had the pleasure of working with him at a seminal event: the “Tax Day Tea Party.” This was the first scheduled nationwide protest of that grand old party and we were lucky enough to have attended the gathering on a cold rainy day in Morristown, NJ, on behalf of the Daily Show.
This was the first time any of us had actually rubbed elbows with members of the John Birch Society. (Who knew that there still WAS a John Birch Society?!)
We’ll never forget the interview John did with one of its members. Straight faced, he went on, riffing for ten minutes before the subject turned to the camera and asked, “Is this a joke…?” Realizing that he’d been had, the guy became so incensed that he retaliated by pointing to John’s “poor” dental work as a result of British socialized medicine.
Quick on his feet and hilarious. We love John Oliver.
This video is an explainer. If you watch it you’ll understand what triggered us to launch Peoplemade in the first place.
Anyone with a good business head would say we’re crazy to have undertaken a model based on low volume and higher price points than the industry dictates. As John says in this clip, “The only way the fashion industry can make money is through volume.” It’s there we beg to differ. As public awareness grows, we’re hoping that people will come to realize the value of beautiful, handmade things created by fairly compensated workers. Our margins might be slim but it’s worth the effort.
Contrarians we are and contrarians we will remain.