U.S. YouTube Star Unveils Sneakers Highlighting Modern Slavery

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Forced LaborHuman TraffickingSlavery-Free GoodsSupply Chain

American vlogger Jacques Slade is famous for unveiling the latest sneakers from Adidas and Nike on his YouTube channel.

But this time he unboxed a brand new pair of white trainers with a twist — they highlight modern slavery and its ties to fast fashion.

The price tag of $90 (66 pounds) reflects the cost of slave labor today, while a logo stating “40M” refers to the estimated 40 million people trapped in modern slavery. The insole features pictures of sweatshops, where workers around the world are known to be subjected to forced labor.

Thomson Reuters Foundation reports:

The campaign by the Thomson Reuters Foundation – “Unboxing the real price of sneakers” – aims to raise awareness of the hidden human cost of clothing among millennials as the issue of ethical fashion increasingly influences how young people shop.

The advent of fast fashion, with consumers constantly buying and discarding clothing, has fueled the risk of worker abuses such as forced labor in global supply chains, campaigners say.

“Being a part of this campaign has made me take a more thoughtful stance on the issues around forced labor,” said Slade, who has about 850,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel.

The sneakers Slade reveals in his video were made in collaboration with a prominent Los Angeles designer and are slavery-free.

Slade says he hopes to inspire his followers to purchase ethically-made products.

“Given the impact we can all make with our voices, I am proud I may be able to help educate and empower those around me to look deeper at their own understanding of the topic and … inspire them to enact change both locally and globally,” he said.

Jakub Sobik of charity Anti-Slavery International added that it is consumers who will ultimately drive fashion companies to make tangible changes to their supply chains.

“Conscious consumers will be an essential part of the movement that will make companies and governments get serious about ending the evil that taints the products we use every day.”

Chip in and help end modern slavery once and for all.

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