The following aired on KCBS.
By: Bianca Brooks
I love fashion. I've always loved it. I celebrate fashion week like it's a holiday. But earlier this year I realized the true cost of my trendy clothes when I met a group of women I’ve been stealing from my whole life.
As part of an exchange program I traveled 8,000 from Oakland, California to Dhaka, Bangladesh. On a tour of Dhaka, I visited a factory that was making clothes for some of my favorite brands. The sound of whooshing looms and the chemical smell of dye filled the air. But it was watching a young girl sewing a pair of jeans that made me feel sick.
Before I’d seen the factory, I was so flattered when my new Bangladeshi friends complimented my new name brand button down. They were proud that the name on the shirt said 'Made in Bangladesh.' But after, all I wanted to do was to wrap my traditional Bangladeshi shaw around me to cover the shame I felt.
Since I got back from Bangladesh, I haven’t purchased any sweatshop clothes, because there's a hidden cost in cheap clothing. It involves someone's livelihood, education and life.