The Price of Cheap

A film about labor exploitation in the textile industry

Directed by Barry Stevens

Released 2021

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.

The Price of Cheap 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.

“This is not a dignified life…
this is a slave life.”


from the organization T.E.S.T. in Tamil Nadu, India
(Trust for Education and Social Transformation)

Production Team

Barry Stevens


Steve Weslak


Kim Carter

Executive Producer

Zabi Yaqeen


Chelsea O’Connor

Associate Producer

Erin Chisholm

Visual Researcher

Shashank Walia


Adam Craveiro

Production Manager

Taeo Soleil Levine

Casting Producer, Researcher

Wang Jane Hui


David Hynes


Reza Ahmadi



Robin Wright


Kim Perdikou


Niklas Traub


Tom Butterfield

Art Advisor


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 take action to you can make better buying decisions.

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 Price of Cheap be released?

We are currently in post-production (November/December 2019). Updates on theatrical release will be available soon. 


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