No Sweat

USA 2006. Dir Amie Williams.

No Sweat takes us to Los Angeles, the largest and most dynamic area of garment production in North America. The film follows two self-proclaimed ethical labels American Apparel and SweatX T-shirt which have been widely recognised for providing fair working conditions in their factories. Founded by the entrepreneur Dov Charney and built from the ground up, American Apparel’s anti-sweatshop rhetoric broadcasts care and workers’ benefits such as healthcare, paid leave, company-subsidised lunches, free English language classes and even on-site masseurs. Similarly, the T-shirt company SweatX, with a start-up capital of 2.5million US dollars funded by Ben & Jerry’s Ben Cohen, started with a determination to operate ethically. No Sweat takes us behind the scenes of these two ‘worker-friendly’ companies and unveils a different, much more distressing reality.