The 2 Euro T-shirt


This video is a great reminder of the impact of our fashion apparel industry, in particular through trade and sourcing. One key learning objective of FASH455 is to help students get aware of those critical global agendas that are highly relevant to the textile and apparel sector.

Discussion Question: After watching the video, do you have any new thoughts about how you can contribute to the building of a better world as a FASH major?


Author: Sheng Lu

Professor @ University of Delaware

18 thoughts on “The 2 Euro T-shirt”

  1. After our case study discussion in class and after watching this video I have definitely found myself asking the question “Now what can I do?” I don’t think that this problem can be fixed quickly; it will be a process that will probably span many years. But I firmly believe that the first step is educating the public. This video is a great example of one of the many things that companies as well as NGOs can start doing in order to start getting their message out. We also mentioned in class that advertisements on TV could also be a very good way to reach people and show them the truth about where their cheap clothing is coming from. If we are able to change people’s views about the clothing they are buying then perhaps we as a society can start moving forward and helping those who are trapped in third world countries. As I mentioned before, positive changes for people in the garment industry working in these factories is a process and can only happen step by step. By focusing on specific problems one at a time then we might be able to see positive results. Personally the safety conditions of these people would be number one, then maybe focus on fair salary, etc., etc. There are many problems with this industry as we discussed in class but maybe by tackling them one step at a time we can make a difference in the future. As for right now, it is very important to appeal to people emotions, as it said in this ad: “people care when they know.”

    1. Very well said!! I feel the same way after the case study. Indeed, social responsibility in the garment industry is a quite complicated issue, and the solution requires a joint effort by all parties involved: the factory owner, government, fashion brands, civil society, and consumers.

  2. This video is a great example of our discussion in class. As fashion students, we are aware of the way that apparel is made around the world and we, as consumers, can make decisions based off of that. Other people who are not in this industry, are not as educated about where their apparel comes from. As this video shows, if more people were educated about the supply chain before they made their purchases, there would be a higher demand for ethical practices in the apparel factories. Someone in class mentioned that labor organizations should put PSA’s on the television (similar to the ones for smoking) to show the consumers the life of the women who work in the factories. I think this is a great idea and it would help to get a large amount of people to care about these issues. This video really solidified our discussion in class and makes me think about how important it is to educate the average consumer about the effects that “cheap apparel” has around the world.

    1. Absolutely! It is also interesting to note that apparel brands seldom “advertise” their social responsibility practices either, especially during the holiday season like the Thanksgiving…

  3. After watching the video, I realized that if people know the process of the cheap clothing, they might change their mind and change their shopping behavior. However, it is not a situation that could be changed immediately because business want profit and workers need jobs. hopefully the situation will get better step by step. but at least as a fashion student, I’ d better start to do something, and spread the idea to the people around me.

    1. In my humble opinion, there is nothing wrong with “cheap clothing” itself. But the issue at stake is how to achieve that: through technology advancement, innovation, and improved supply chain management or through unacceptable social responsibility practices…

  4. Like discussed in class on Thursday and watching this video, overall there is no quick fix to this solution. You cannot get developed countries all on the same page to consider the issues abroad about clothing. This video here shows people wanting to donate the ‘$2’ shirt that they were going to buy after seeing who made it and where it was coming from. However it is super unrealistic to do this at every store or plaza in developed countries and to have to remind them. This of course is bringing awareness to the issue but unfortunately how many people after doing this experiment still buy clothing for a bargain?

    Now a days I try not to buy clothing that I don’t think I will personally wear longer than a year. I really try and be savvy with my money and how I want to spend it. From being a fashion major and just having the basic knowledge about fast fashion and how it’s hurting our environment I have tried to steer away from purchasing the $10 from Urban Outfitters that I’ll wear 3x in a year and then never again. Change is slow moving and never happens over night. I think raising awareness and bringing it up for people to understand what’s happening in developing countries as well as how it affects us as well could be a decent first step in moving in that direction.

  5. The following comment is posted on behalf of alexsilano
    After watching this video and thinking about our discussion that we had in class, I am more determined to try and make a difference in this industry. We are the next generation of CEOs and fashion gurus, it is our job to make this industry more sustainable in every way, and I truly believe it is possible with the right amount of passion and support. Like the video said, people care when they know. The problem with society right now is that no one is really educated about this topic, therefore no one is taking a stand. As a fashion major, I want to make it my priority to spread the word and make a change on this industry. The fashion industry has created a world where people are in search for the lowest price garment and the best “deal” they can find. No one is thinking about what goes on behind the making of that garment and how that garment is only cheap for consumers because the company paid minimal dollars to the people making it. With more companies having a care in this issue and putting forth ethical practices, this problem in the industry can be fixed. When more and more global brands start to have a transparent supply chain, the customer will start to be aware of what is behind the clothing they are wearing and be more aware of what they buy and who they buy it from.

  6. I think this video completely embodies the type of consumers that exist today.Many are willing to make a change after they are presented with all the information regarding who made their clothing. The people in the video were willing to buy clothing because its cheap regardless if they needed it or not however, after the video which showed the environment and the conditions factories workers had to endure to make our inexpensive clothing. I think it shows how little consumers actually know about their clothing and whose making it, however when given the opportunity, they were willing to make a difference and donate. I think more consumers should be aware of where their clothing is coming from. Some retailers like Patagonia have become transparent with their sourcing information so that customers can be informed.

  7. I absolutely loved this video, I think more action, similar to this one, should be taken in order to inform the public of the products they are purchasing. I think this approach is so smart and moving that people would go home and research more about the topic in order to feel fully informed. I think they should have installations like these all over the U.S., in major and minor cities. In addition, I have loved the video’s shown in class where it takes a product and rewinds its lifestyle, so having something similar to that and this installation transformed into a commercial that is shown on major channels and during major events so that it ensures maximum coverage. This video is relatable, because yes, if you see a shirt for 2 euros, you’re going to want to buy it, only because it is so cheap, however, consumer must begin to think about the consequences of their actions and it seems like this social experiment truly caught their attention and made them question the fashion industry further.

  8. This video is an excellent example of the discussion we had in class about the Bangladesh case study. It is easy to blame consumers because we are the ones buying the clothing and creating a further demand that these mistreated people have to produce. However, it is so unfair to expect that people that do not work in the fashion industry or keep up with fashion news know where their garments are coming from or know the expense at which the people creating them are suffering. This video creates such a valid conversation that if people knew about the horrible production methods that were being used to create their garments, they would not be as willing to purchase them and support a company that would treat people this way. This is the reason I do not believe that tragedies such as the Rana Plaza Collapse are the consumers responsibility.

  9. As a FASH student, I am educated in the reality of textile and apparel factories overseas. However many people outside the major are not. When many struggling college students go shopping, they tend to look for bargains. What they do not know is exactly how they are getting these bargains. If more people knew about the horrors of the factories and the workers, I am sure that they would not purchase these clothes. Fast fashion and cheap retailers in general are not only polluting the earth with poorly made clothes that will most likely be thrown out soon after purchasing, but they are also cruel to the factory workers.

    More people should be educated about the conditions that factory workers are in when they make said products. One possible option is to have ad campaigns about the topic, similar to the anti-smoking campaigns that we see on television. If more people knew about the workers then I believe that less people would purchase these clothes.

  10. I found this video to be very powerful. It demonstrates how impactful awareness really is. If these 2 euro t-shirts were sold on the shelves in a clothing store, no one would think twice about purchasing it, however because the vending machine brought the potential consumer through a timeline of what went on to get this t-shirt to be only 2 euro the consumer most definitely thought twice about purchasing and instead decided to donate 2 euros rather than get the 2 euros in exchange for the shirt. This video demonstrates that if the textile and apparel industry were to reveal and open the eyes of the consumer to the issues of producing such inexpensive clothing over seas it could positively effect the people in these poor working conditions. With the rise of technology and social media, our generation can use these platforms to our advantage to expose what is happening and spread awareness. Spreading awareness, getting information across to a great amount of people has never been so easy. And because most people nowadays have such a short attention span, social media is a great platform because you can only put so much information on a post, so it helps get the point across succintcly. As long as people are aware of the negative effects they may incur based upon their purchases, I believe there will be change.

  11. As a FASH student at UD, and especially as a student taking FASH655 I think that I can contribute my knowledge. Being a student in this class has taught me a lot about the fashion industry. As a fashion student we already know that there is more to fashion than just clothes, but for people that are not involved in the depths of the industry, they just think that everything is glamorous, that all we study and focus on is new fashion trends and designers. When it comes to our major I believe the saying “Everything that glitters, isnt gold” is beyond true. What I am learning in FASH655 is not as shocking to me as it would be to someone that thinks fashion is just about bargain shopping and trying to find the most stylish pieces for the best prices. What people dont know is that these “bargain prices” come with a horrible life and working conditions for someone somewhere else in the world. The problem is that people are not aware of what is really going on in the world and what is really able to afford companies the luxury of selling a shirt for $5. The problem is that somewhere in the world, someone is producing the products that we crave for less than a dollar while working insane hours and their living conditions are even worse. I can contribute by spreading the word and sharing the information i am learning in case studies and in class with my friends and family so that they become aware and eventually tell people that they know and so forth. People would be more willing to help if they actually knew and understood what was happening in the world so the best thing for us to do would be to spread awareness and I think the idea behind this video was a great start, expose consumers to the truth behind the bargains that they crave.

  12. After watching the video, I encourage people to educate themselves on the dangers of supporting cheap clothing industries due to the complications that come in producing and manufacturing them. It is also not in the consumer’s best interest to buy cheaper merchandise because the quality is so low, although you paid a small price for it, you still may not be receiving your money’s work.

  13. I believe that at times as fashion majors, we underestimate the capacity of knowledge that we are given and what are can truly do with it. The fashion industry is one in which is ever changing and so vast. One thing that has somewhat recently (under 10 years or so) stuck is the act of being socially responsible and sustainable. Not polluting rivers, harmful chemicals being released into the environment, not harming animals, people and the earth during production, sourcing, etc. The list goes on for the the topics in which can be effected to keep this industry alive and running. Among the hundreds of things I find captivating about being a fashion major, something I find myself passionate about is learning about sustainability. We are provided with quite a few courses and professors that thoroughly enjoy educating us on this and it is fascinating! With that, I plan to continue this “chain of education” and keep informing anyone that I possibly can on the benefits of choosing to be social responsible and aware of the effects AND harms NOT practicing sustainability can achieve. I believe that it starts with small, little differences and eventually one big change will come from all of the minor alterations.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s