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Le Truc Launches ‘Discounted Lives’ Installation in Partnership with Human Rights Foundation


The work, which launches at SXSW, draws awareness to the dark links between fast fashion and forced labour

Le Truc Launches ‘Discounted Lives’ Installation in Partnership with Human Rights Foundation

Le Truc, a creative collective within Publicis Groupe, is launching its latest pro-bono work in support of the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) at SXSW in the form of an installation, ‘Discounted Lives’. It draws awareness to the dark links between fast fashion and forced labour — and the reality that when we buy heavily discounted goods from countries that exploit workers, we in fact discount their lives in every sense of the word.

The work is the latest extension of HRF’s advocacy in partnership with the Coalition to End Forced Labour in the Uyghur Region, a coalition of civil society organisations dedicated to ending human rights violations perpetrated against the Uyghur population and other Turkic and Muslim-majority people.

The ‘Discounted Lives’ installation features a simple set up: two racks of white t-shirts, priced at either $4.99 or $44.99. The shirts are seemingly identical. So, why the price difference? The answer is on a receipt, which is printed with all the “discounts” applied to the cheaper item: facts and statistics about forced labour and its accompanying human rights violations, alongside portraits of real Uyghur workers whose lives were discounted in exchange for cheaply-produced goods. The message “WHAT YOU SAVE COSTS THEM EVERYTHING,” featured on the receipt-printing pedestal, underscores the sobering truth of how we arrive at the $4.99 price point.

“The widespread use of Uyghur forced labour in the fashion industry is alarming, and it is reflective of a human rights crisis that impacts each of our daily purchasing decisions. More than one million innocent Uyghurs and Turkic Muslims are currently arbitrarily detained, working in forced labour camps across China,” said Céline Assaf-Boustani, president of the Human Rights Foundation (HRF). “What you save costs them everything — their bodies, their families, their entire identities, and even their lives. It’s high time for both companies and consumers alike to no longer tolerate such modern day slavery.”

“While it has become the norm in our current society to pay just a few dollars for a t-shirt, the reality is that this discounted price is achieved through the exploitation and suffering of the people who produce them,” said Bastien Baumann, chief design officer and founding partner of Le Truc. “By choosing to purchase these cheap goods, we are essentially putting a price on human lives and thus bear the responsibilities for the ethical implications of our actions as consumers.”

'Discounted Lives' builds on Le Truc’s existing partnership with HRF and drives the organisation’s broader and ongoing Wear Your Values initiative. Last year, Le Truc launched ‘Voices from the Inside’ in support of HRF’s Ukraine Solidarity Fund: Operation Sunflower.


Agency / Creative
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Categories: Corporate, Social and PSAs, Social

Le Truc, Fri, 10 Mar 2023 16:21:00 GMT