The Cost of Cheap
A FILM ABOUT LABOUR EXPLOITATION
IN THE TEXTILE INDUSTRY
Who Makes Your Clothes?
What is life like for the people who grow the cotton, process the material, and sew our garments? Many people think slavery is over, but there are presently 40.3 million people living in modern slavery. Forced labourers make up the majority of this number, as many vulnerable workers deep in the supply chains of everyday consumer products, especially clothing, toil with no or low wages, and cannot leave because of threats of violence.
This is not a dignified life… this is a slave life.
The film tells the stories of modern slaves in textiles manufacturing supply chains and the brave individuals fighting on the ground against immeasurable odds to help them. We follow a man named Joseph Raj, who runs an organization called T.E.S.T. (Trust for Education and Social Transformation) in Tamil Nadu, India as he goes on raids to rescue underage children from unsafe and labour intensive factories. We hear from the survivors he has helped rescue, hear of their horrific experiences, and desire for education and change. Academics and social justice workers weigh in on why the issue of forced labour persists.
Call to action: BuyFair App
Watch the video below to learn more about the BuyFair app. Sign up if you want to be a tester of the app. It is now available for external testers, and they will be contacted by the end of September 2018 for access to the app.
We are asking the film’s audience and visitors to our site to support the use of the BuyFair app by signing on to our call to action.
The BuyFair app allows consumers to pressure corporations to become more transparent about their supply chains. Once that information is generated, an independent rating advisory made up of a cross-sector of supply chain professionals will determine ratings to help users of the app make more ethical purchasing decisions.
With mass adoption, consumers can put pressure on corporations to improve their supply chain or risk losing customers.
Fight slavery by signing up for the BuyFair app at no cost to you.
Scan barcodes to avoid products made using slave labor and pressure corporations to clean up their supply chain.
Explore all Videos
Frequently Asked Questions
What is call to action?
Corporate behavior can be changed, and for that we need individual consumers to make purchasing decisions that do not contribute to the propogation of labour exploitation, including forced labour, in supply chains. The BuyFair app gives you the tools to make better buying decisions. The app is now available for anyone who wants to be a part of our private beta test program. Sign up now at BuyFair.org.
What outreach programs are being developed?
Most of our everyday products – from the food we eat to the clothes we wear – are made by people who work in indecent conditions. Some are even produced by people trapped in slavery. Shop ethically with BuyFair, with which you can learn which brands guard against abuse and which do not. Browse through ratings in apparel, chocolate and electronics before making a purchase. Join the movement by scanning product barcodes to find out whether companies are transparent, and help our research by petitioning those that are not.
We consumers have a voice through our retail purchasing power. We need to evaluate what we buy. We need to ask “who made my product?” and avoid buying products that depend on forced or bonded labour.
When will the film The Cost of Cheap be released?
We are currently in post-production (May 2019). Updates on theatrical release will be available soon.
Barry Stevens is a Toronto documentary filmmaker and screenwriter. He won a drama Gemini award for writing The Diary of Evelyn Lau then switched to documentaries as a writer on the International Emmy-winning documentary, Gerrie and Louise. His personal documentary called Offspring about his search for his sperm donor was seen in 61 countries, was nominated for an Emmy and influenced public policy in the UK and elsewhere. Other long-form projects include Prosecutor, about the trials of the International Criminal Court (for White Pine Pictures), The Bomber’s Dream and Sector Sarajevo about the war in Bosnia, which both won WGC awards. For four years, he has been directing and co-producing a series for History TV called War Story, which has won seven awards, including Best Direction in a documentary at the Canadian Screen Awards. He is currently working on a film about jihadism.
Steve Weslak is an editor who has been working in the Canadian film industry for many years. He has received 7 Gemini award nominations and the films that he has worked on have won major awards around the world. Among the highlights were “Concerto” for Rhombus Media, which won an International Emmy, “The Planets”, nominated for a Grammy Award as best long form video and “Tales From the Organ Trade”, another Emmy Award nominee. In 2015 Steve won the Canadian Screen Awards “Best Picture Editing in a Documentary Program or Series” for “Our Man in Tehran”. The same year he received the Black Dolphin award in Cannes for editing the HBO feature “Tales From the Organ Trade”. The last few years he’s been busy editing films for such international broadcasters as HBO, BBC, PBS, Discovery Channel, SBS Australia and feature film producers EONE Entertainment. In 2018 Steve received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Cinema Editors association.
Kim Carter has extensive experience in business management. He is a producer on the recently released documentary film When Elephants Fight. He has owned and operated a vertically integrated company in the UK; was Founder/Director of publishing companies Carter & Carter Ltd. and Salt Kettle Publishing Ltd.; was Chairman/Director, Macquarie Capital Alliance International Limited and Director, Macquarie MCG International Limited, which were both taken private with an acquisition value of more than US$6 billion. Kim is an Independent Director of Macquarie Special Situations Fund Limited (MSSits) and three other related Macquarie entities. In addition to several other directorships, he is Director/Founder of KATKiDS, and Co-Founder of TEDxBermuda. In 2007 Kim helped in the rescue and subsequent rehabilitation of I36 trafficked children in Nepal. The children were in appalling physical and mental condition while in the hands of traffickers, but after the rescue and many years of care, they are in good health, many going on to higher education and all have finally been reunited with their families.
Zabi Yaqeen is a producer and entertainment lawyer in Toronto, Canada. In addition to acting for and against chartered banks, multinationals and individual complainants and defendants in court, Zabi has helped filmmakers, media and internet companies, and technology start-ups with various aspects of their projects, with a focus on emerging media technology and adapting media distribution to the new ways in which audiences consume content. Zabi practised commercial litigation and entertainment law at Julian Heller and Associates for 8 years, before starting his own practice and focusing on Abolish and TAF. He has obtained degrees in both common law and civil law, and practices in English and French.
Following her work in the lifestyle television production and animation industries, Chelsea was the Online Producer for TotallyRandom.TV- an interactive website and webseries for kids. TR was nominated for a Kidscreen Award for best web/app series and was largely funded by the CMF Experimental Stream with Mountain Road Productions. Her experience as a media strategist and passion for new technologies led her to founding a mobile video communications platform where she was awarded a Youth SPARC Award through Invest Ottawa. Chelsea has enjoyed helping many clients develop successful web & mobile software projects as COO of Apexacore Software. She is a proud BFA graduate of the Ryerson Theatre School and Algonquin College’s TV Broadcasting program for which she received a full Millennium Scholarship from the Ontario Centres for Excellence & the Jon Cassar Bursary. She is passionate about driving change through effective communications and technology and is thrilled to be a part of the Wishing Step Pictures Production Team.
Second Unit Director
Agam Jain is a qualified actuary, with more than 8 years of insurance industry and financial risk management consulting experience, having worked for PwC in the UK and KPMG in Bermuda. Since 2015 he has produced two films – an independent thriller “By Any Means”, selected for and won awards at multiple international independent film festivals, and “A Piece of the Rock”, a documentary highlighting world-leading instances of road crashes in Bermuda and their socio-economic impact on the island’s population. He complimented the documentary by leading a highly successful road safety campaign in Bermuda in 2017 generating public momentum to urge the local authorities to take decisive action.
Shashank Walia has a master’s degree in mass communication from AJK MCRC, Jamia Millia Islamia and a postgraduate diploma in cinematography from Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune. He has recently written and directed a short fiction, ‘In the month of Love’ (2018). He has also shot for various international documentaries including ‘Love in the time of hate’ for NHK Japan and is currently shooting for a Canadian documentary in production on forced labour and modern slavery. He was the associate cinematographer for Hindi feature film ‘Soni.’ He also takes lecture on art aesthetics and cinematography at various media institutes including Xavier Institute of Communication, Mumbai. He has won the Best Cinematography award at the DMCS Film Festival, Pune for his student short film ‘Yaan.’
Adam Craveiro, Production Manager, is a multi-disciplinary filmmaker and educator from Toronto. He is an alumnus from both the University of Toronto and Ryerson University, and he was the recipient of both the Universal Studios Canada Scholarship in Filmmaking as well as the Norman Jewison Filmmaker Award during his time at Ryerson.
He has also been a Producer and 1st Assistant Director on a number of short films and music videos. Apart from filmmaking, Adam has over seven years of experience as an ESL instructor.
Taeo Soleil Levine
Casting Producer, Researcher
Taeo has a strong background in story chasing, people finding and idea making. After completing a degree in Indigenous Studies, cycling through Asia, planting trees and slinging beer, she realized how little she knew and that telling stories would be one way to understand a tiny bit about this terrifying and beautiful planet. From dating shows to documentaries, Taeo has worked on productions for Discovery, Animal Planet, BBC, CBC, TVO, and many more. She produced and directed a short documentary about accessibility which aired on AMI and is currently working on her second film. Taeo is thrilled to be working with Wishing Step Pictures as we move together towards a more evolved and global consciousness.
Wang Jane Hui
Hui Wang (a.k.a. Jane) is a Chinese-Canadian filmmaker, documentary researcher and location sound recordist. A graduate of the specialized Honors BA English Program at York University, Jane has been working and living in Toronto since 2001. From 2009-2010, she studied in the Film Studies certificate program at Ryerson University. Her debut feature documentary Last Harvest was supported by National Film Board of Canada’s Filmmaker Assistance Program and won the Tokyo TV Forum Award at CNEX Chinese Documentary Forum in Taiwan in 2012. In 2015, Last Harvest won World Documentary Award and WFJ EDA(Excellent Dynamic Activism) Best Female-Directed Documentary Award at Whistler Film Festival.
Jane is also an experienced documentary researcher and location sound recordist. She has done research for feature length documentary Toy Stories directed by Barry Stevens and The Daughter Tree directed by Rama Rau, documentary series How China Made the World produced by Holgate Production House, and documentary series The Arctic produced by Jeremy Edwardes at Coptor Productions Inc. She has also recorded location sound for various film and video projects.
David Hynes is a teacher and labour activist. In 2011, David ran for MPP for the New Democratic Party in Ontario. David holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science from York University. He is currently teaching Film in the Media Studies and Technology Department of Humber College. His interests include global political economy, history and social justice.
Reza Ahmadi is a Researcher and Program Evaluator at the Centre of Research, Policy and Program Development, an organization focused on criminal justice issues in Ontario. Reza Ahmadi has a B.A. in History from York University and an M.A. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Toronto. He also has a post-graduate certificate as a Research Analyst from Humber College. Reza combines his academic and professional background to bring a multidisciplinary approach to all his work and is passionate about human rights, diversity and equality issues.
Robin is an activist, actor, producer, and director. She is a dedicated activist for the women of eastern Congo. Her career includes: starring in The Princess Bride, Forrest Gump (earning her a Golden Globe Award nomination), Toys, Message in a Bottle, Unbreakable, The Conspirator, Moneyball, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. She also stars as Claire Underwood in the Netflix series House of Cards, for which she has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series twice, and for which she won the Golden Globe in 2014 for Best Actress – Television Series Drama, making her the first actress to win a Golden Globe for an online-only series.
Kim is the 2014 recipient of the Not For Sale Freedom Award. Kim is an independent director for multiple companies including CyberArk Software, a public company, and other private technology companies. In addition, Kim is Chair of REBBL, a functional beverage for-profit company, born out of the inaugural Montara Circle – a collaborative event lead by Not For Sale and a group of global leaders committed to solving modern day slavery. REBBL’s mission is to create healthy beverages while establishing the highest industry standards for fairness and dignity throughout the supply-chain. REBBL provides opportunities for those vulnerable and most at risk.
Niklas is Managing Partner of IID Partners, an investment boutique with interests in biotech, oil exploration, software, semiconductors, media, music, and digital content. He’s one of the co-founders of TEDxBermuda and advises various Bermudian organizations involved with bringing business to the island, increasing power independence and improving the economy. Niklas was a co-founder of Foundation Capital Strategies, a successful highly quantitative equity hedge fund based out of Bermuda. Niklas has a PhD in mathematical computer science from the University of Edinburgh.
Tom is Founder and Creative Director of the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art in Paget, Bermuda. Tom is an 8th generation Bermudian whose family first arrived in 1612. His love for his island home and his innate curiosity regarding the influence Bermuda had on such cultural and artistic luminaries as Winslow Homer, Georgia O’Keeffe and Mark Twain has led to the development of this cultural institution- a “State of the Art” Museum which is a first for the island. Tom received a Canada Council Grant in 1977 for his passion for photography and in 2012 received an M.B.E. from Queen Elizabeth II for his service to the arts.