November 11, 2020

Episode 1-8 – The Conscience of Clothing – Mode.Macht.Menschen

Patrick Kohl

Finally the time has come! We are very happy to be able to show you the first three episodes of our documentary film #modemachtmenschen today.

What is the goal of #modemachtmenschen? We would like to give an introduction to the topic especially to those of you who have not yet dealt with the question where our clothes actually come from.

In each new episode, which we will publish every Wednesday from now on, our two protagonists Willy and Helen meet people from Cambodia who have very different points of contact with production in the fashion industry and tell us their story. We deliberately try not to moralise, but to enter into dialogue and learn honestly, openly and at eye level.

Episode 1

In episode 1 Helen and Willy get to know Cambodia’s past a little better. Helen looks around the temples of Angkor Wat and gets to know the rich history of the former high culture. Willy gets to know the terrible dark sides of the recent past, the genocide of the “red Khmer”.

Episode 2

Willy meets our translator Sineat Yon. The journalist used to work in the textile industry herself and takes Willy to Kampong Chhnang province, where he meets the seamstress Ran Ren. On her way to work, the Cambodian woman lost an arm while standing on a truck in a serious accident. What does such an accident mean for the seamstress and what about Cambodia’s transport conditions?

Episode 3

Helen travels to the Kampot region and first meets Kunthear Mov in her home. The Cambodian is co-founder of the ethical-slow fashion label DORSU. Afterwards Helen meets Hanna Guy, the second woman of this Cambodian-Australian friendship. Hanna shows Helen the small, fair production facility in Kampot.

Episode 4

In episode 4 Willy is in Phnom Penh and visits Smateria, a small bag and accessory label from Cambodia’s capital. Founded by two European women who met and live in Cambodia 20 years ago, Smateria places special emphasis on women’s rights and strengthens working conditions for the predominantly female workforce and their families.

Episode 5

In episode 5 Helen is in northern Cambodia and visits the medium-sized factory “Pactics”. The Dutch owner Piet Holten showed Helen around the production plant, which is considered one of the showpiece factories (according to the ILO) in the country.

Episode 6

In episode 6, Willy visits former trade union leader Chheng Danou and talks to her about the past, current situation and future of the country’s workers’ empire. Willy then visits the free network CCIM (Cambodian Center for Independent Media) and talks to producer Lim Thida about freedom of expression, rights and freedom of assembly in Cambodia.

Episode 7

In episode 7 Helen is in Kampong Chhnang province and meets the seamstress Seak Hong. The two women take a trip to the family’s rice field and Helen gets an insight into the family life of the 33-year-old. What does it mean in Cambodia to be responsible for the whole family from a seamstress’ salary?

Episode 8

Epsiode 8 will be recorded 6 months later: Helen and Willy are back in Germany and we asked: What has remained in their minds? What has changed? What do they want to tackle for the future?

More information:

Instagram: @mode.macht.menschen