When we want to buy a new item, there are a couple things to consider — How much does it cost? How does it look? How essential is it? But perhaps a more important question is "What were the conditions for the workers making the product?"
Because many forget to consider the latter, Norwegian environmental organization Framtiden i våre hender conducted a social experiment to find out if people would buy a phone after being told how it was made.
In their experiment, a stand was set up in the streets of Oslo, Norway to sell a fake phone brand called FLIP-Phone. The people behind the stand then let potential buyers know how the phone was made, detailing the working conditions in the factories. But while the phone brand was fake, the conditions described are actually the reality of many workers in the industry.
"Will people still buy the phone knowing how it REALLY was made?" the creators ask.
"FLIP-Phone is new on the market, and it is an extremely good phone," sales people tell passersby.
$99?! What's not to love.
Well, you be the judge.
Make sure to watch the entire video below. The reactions of passersby are telling.
The video is a powerful reminder to always question how things are made. Otherwise, you might unknowingly be supporting inhumane working conditions.
For instance, Apple is just one of the companies that's often under fire for working conditions in its factories. Just last year undercover BBC reporters shot footage of factory workers falling asleep at their 12-hour shifts because of exhaustion. There were also reported incidents of employees having to work "18 days in a row despite repeated requests for a day off." But is this something we remind ourselves of when dreaming of a new iPhone?
You can support the petition demanding transparency in the industry here.
Framtiden i våre hender has also worked to expose truths about the working conditions in the textile industry in their documentary-style reality show Sweatshop. You can learn more about Sweatshop, and the working conditions of people in the textile industry here.