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(generated from captions) than we help them with aid. more through unfair trade how we harm the world's poor A dress that shows Panorama tells the story of a dress. is Comic Relief enough. The idea of me on a catwalk A dress worthy of the catwalk. from the stuff we bought. to make a world-class dress from London College of Fashion - Our challenge to the students for clothes we like to buy. and make the materials live on just a dollar or two a day we talk to people who to the Far East, From Timbuktu... to Uganda. From the High Andes... keeps millions in poverty. how the world's trade system finding materials that show Panorama travelled the world For 40 days with a difference. for a catwalk show of top London fashion students And it was designed by a group ..on behalf of Comic Relief. Do I have to wear a red nose? by actress Tamzin Outhwaite... It was modelled was made to tell a story. but one dress at London Fashion Week some more demure, Some were sexy...

and it's also his main crop. It's a good crop this year, Like that? You just pull it off the plant? Yes, just like that. That comes straight off the plant? his cotton harvest looks great. Strange... because This really is dollar-a-day land. is about as destitute as it gets. Well, short of real hunger, this drinks water that's unsafe. Adema's family in the countryside, Like two-thirds of people malnourished. Four out of ten children one of the ten poorest in the world. The country he lives in, by peasant farmers like Adema. Most cotton in Mali is grown Je m'appelle Steve. Bonjour. Ca va? Ca va? and about a third from cotton. make their living from farming, Most of Mali's 12 million people to cotton-growing country. To find out why, we drove south-west great trade rows. of one of the world's is at the centre because Mali's cotton for our dollar-a-day dress, some of their legendary blue cotton We're here to buy now famous across the world. It's a festival to play music and dance. to this oasis close to Timbuktu with their families They've ridden for days nomads of the Sahara Desert. They're Tuareg tribesmen, in the West African country of Mali. gather for a festival Every year, the men in blue

can't afford to give to us. our government to their farmers The subsidies they give to US cotton farmers. to stop the subsidies we would like the US government INTERPRETER: My message is alienate them. but our farm subsidies Muslim democracies like Mali, The West wants to encourage And there's a political angle. advantage - selling farm products. to exploit their natural trade for poor countries And that makes it much harder as it gives in aid. almost six times as much in subsidies to its own farmers, But it also gives about $300 billion a year in aid worldwide. the West gives over $50 billion living on a dollar or so a day, To help those Yes! The farmers here, like him? Yes. It's killing the other farmers? it is to kill the other farmers... that means for a farmer, and if a government does that that it is very big money INTERPRETER: He says What does he make of this? JG Boswell, California, $6 million. 7 million. We've got Tyler Farms, Arkansas, commitment to free trade. Critics say they breach the West's been paying its cotton farmers. detailing huge subsidies America's We brought with us an Oxfam report to work their way out of poverty. for African farmers and making it harder keeping world prices down, unfair competition subsidise their cotton farmers - But the US and the EU And that's what Mali's done. cotton's cheap and good quality." Rich nations say "Make sure your Mali should be okay. But why so poor? Yeah, yeah. Do all these have to go? a whole extended African family. out of which he's got to feed 3 quid a week, that's about ?160 for the whole year. He's going to make about ?80 from it, Adema's crop for the year. We reckon this is about half a decent living. But he still can't make

pass it by. but now the world's trade routes a great trading centre, Timbuktu was once Timbuktu. classic blue Mali cotton ourselves. to buy some of that So we set off back to the Sahara So we bought it right off his head! He said "Do you wanna buy it?" with this wonderful blue turban. and a fellow on the street came up a few weeks ago were with me in Timbuktu and daughter and husband It reminds me... my son this deep, deep indigo. It's just dyed Tell me about it. Oh, yeah. It's all around. know anything about the blue cloth? While we're on the subject, do you with our quest still on our mind. We hitched a lift back into town to scrapping them. but America's not yet committed it said, They're depressing world prices, by the World Trade Organisation. subsidies were declared illegal This week, American cotton health care, lack of technology. is lack of education, lack of good What keeps Mali in poverty at his level, very, very little. probably impact this farmer, US subsidies in some other area. He probably should be working he is actually mistaken. What I say is, What do you say to him? are keeping me in poverty." "Look, the American subsidies We met a farmer yesterday who says they get from cotton. with money a health centre like building schools, of the development work they do, My village finances most of why the price of cotton counts. They have first-hand experience among Mali's cotton farms. many working was lunching Peace Corps volunteers, the US ambassador In the capital Bamako, and we need more money. We are a poor country

with that whole idea of development. We are buying from you, but what do you buy from us? Nothing. No. You don't need us. Development has been successful for the developers, but not for us. We are not developed. We are submitted more and more. I'm sorry. In the oasis outside Timbuktu, the Tuareg festival is reaching its climax. It's now becoming a West African Glastonbury. to start a decent-sized textile industry of its own. So some in Mali say "Let's go back to the old days. "Let's keep our cotton here, to weave clothes for local people, "rather than joining in a trade game we'll never win." The Americans subsidise their cotton farmers. What's your complaint against this? Hypocrisy. Hypocrisy? Hypocrisy... They are killing us, while they say they are developing us. But we know they are lying. They define the rules of the game and, um... It's really unfair. Aminata Traore is a world-renowned writer. She says the rich countries' unfair trade practices show up what's wrong But it doesn't make enough cash, as the West urges it to do. Mali exports most of its cotton for Mali cotton, none of it blue. We found just one man weaving It's a desolate place.

In the last few years, the Tuareg have been joined by Western bands and Western fans, including Oxfam's Sally Baden. She thinks trade can work if it's fair, but America's cotton subsidies, she says, show it isn't. 4 billion of subsidies to 25,000 farmers is not a distraction and this is causing a 25% drop in world prices, which affects 10 to 12 million people in West Africa. Unless the world trade system changes to enable people in poor countries to work their way out of poverty, they're never going to get away from being aid-dependent countries, poor countries, and have their own sustainable development. Time to buy some of that blue fabric we saw all around us. 6000 Central African Francs... But we were in for a surprise. That's great. What's that? Ah, the make of China. It's made in China? Manufactured in China? Yes, all the blue cotton material we found was made in China, Mali again losing out in the trade game to a stronger competitor. We'd failed our first test... or so it seemed. BLUESY GUITAR MUSIC But that night, as the band Desert Blues was on stage, we noticed a trader with something blue that didn't look mass produced. Hi, how are you? Fine. Is this Chinese? No, my brother! This is Mali cotton. Mali is the king of cotton, sir, and this is indigo! You see? This one has been made by Mali artists. At last - real blue cloth dyed indigo, and made from Mali cotton. For the trader, it's a chance to re-state a by now familiar complaint. America are killing Mali cotton. I'm sorry. It's just what we need to take back to London. So, thank you very much. You're welcome. Bye. For Mali's musicians, today's globalised economy is good news. Their music reaches around the world. And Mali's farmers may soon benefit too, as countries like the US are forced to scrap unfair subsidies. What we want to find out in the rest of our journey - whether free trade means fair trade. Back at the London College of Fashion, we're working with eight second-year students. Our challenge - fabric from each country we visit must be in the final dress. This is what we brought back from Mali. It's dyed with local indigo. The Mali cotton went down well. Ethnic - not mass produced. It smells. It's nice! Are you sure it smells nice? No, no! It's got life behind it. You can tell where it's come from. It's not what we use. It's got genuine holes in it. Hand-stitched! It's not even machine-stitched. With the Mali cotton a hit, we wanted to find more African fabric and to highlight the new problems that face poor countries as the world moves towards a free-trade system. Our search took us close to the equator, to Uganda and its capital, Kampala. For help, we turned to Godfrey Kayongo, who runs the garment-sellers' association here. We started looking, cheekily enough, through his own wardrobe. Godfrey, show me your wardrobe! This is my wardrobe of things that I wear during my time of work. because I don't buy so expensively, but they are very nice stuff. Show me some of your favourites. Now, let me start with this one. This one is from Marks & Spencer. When you buy stuff from Marks & Spencer, you have the quality. But nice as his clothes were, there was something odd. For a start, they weren't really African at all. Whether shirts or shoes, they were all, well, Western. This one is from Paris. Pierre Cardin from Paris. Pierre Cardin? Go on, try it on for me. It looks pretty good. Yeah. The mystery of Godfrey Kayongo's wardrobe was about to be revealed close by in the centre of Kampala. This is where ordinary Ugandans come to buy their clothes. It's Marks & Spencer's, British Home Stores, Tesco, all rolled into one. And it's completely overwhelming. Almost everything in this vast market looks like they're castoffs people in rich countries have thrown away. Is that for you? Yeah. And that's because they are. It's that way round, isn't it? Godfrey showed us round. So how much of the clothing here is second-hand? 95% of the clothing here is second-hand. Where does it come from? Various countries. Like United Kingdom, Canada, USA and the rest of the European countries. The clothes arrive every day in big bundles. They've been given away to charities by people in rich countries like Britain. Do you like it? Yeah! Calvin Klein? Yeah. 50 cents? 50 cents. A good bargain? She says the price is high! The charities sell them to importers who sell them on to the market traders - 40,000 of them. In a few years, it's become a huge business. Like everyone, Ugandans love bargains and there's always a size that fits. Are you buying for yourself? I'm buying. Good fit? Yes! I'm feeling very good! GODFREY: She feels fine! No limits on second-hand imports, very low tariffs, it's free trade at its most welcome. But the benefits of free trade can come at a price. Outside Kampala, a run-down industrial estate in the old colonial town of Jinja. Since 1985, yes. The shop floor of Eyasu Sirak's garment factory used to be much busier. You were busy making clothes? Very busy. About 300 suits a day. And what's changed? Second-hand clothes started being imported. The import was growing tremendously. What effect did that have on your factory and on the people you employed? As you see here, it's empty. We were employing 124 people. Now we have around 37, 38 people. Can you really blame second-hand clothes for that? Yes. Yes, nothing else to blame. In Jinja town, Mr Sirak showed us more Western castoffs. See? Everything is second-hand. There is nothing new. Old clothes dumped on the world market for the best possible motives. We give freely, they buy cheaply. All fine in theory, but it's not helping Uganda work its way to prosperity, says its prime minister. We are facing a dilemma because on the one hand second-hand clothes are cheap, affordable. On the other hand, they undermine the textile industry, so the government policy is to phase them out. So there's got to be some restrictions on free trade? Initially, yes. And eventually you have free trade, because we have to be competitive. You can't just dive in the deep end? You can't. It would be imprudent and very unwise. But it will be years before Ugandans can even hope to buy more locally made clothes. So, meantime, the government says, "Do carry on giving." But there's one thing the government is trying to ban - second-hand underwear. They're bleached. So what are we looking at? The filth of a human being. The smear from the body of the other fellow. Look at that. Ugh! Don't you find this degrading for a human being? When are we going to start being equal? Feeling equal? We still wanted to find some African fabric. So we had one last try at one of the country's two big textile plants. At Nytil, they do make clothes... for soldiers. After all, whoever heard of an African army kitted out in Western castoffs! So these are the African prints. These are all our African prints. Can we have that? But tucked away in a corner, this factory DID make a few traditional African printed fabrics. We can take these back to England? Correct. Give them to our designers. Sure. And make outfit out of it. Make our outfit out of it. Thank you very much. Thanks! Polite, but privately worried. Would the students think the prints mass produced and gaudy? We sent them back and used a videophone to check the response. PHONE RINGS Okay, hi. It's Steve. I'm in Kampala, Uganda. ALL: Hi! Hello. We've sent you back the best African materials we could find. They're made from Ugandan cotton, so have a look at those now... Whoa! Oh, my God! Those clothes are really hard to find. It's very hard to find genuine African clothes. We tried to sell it. Hard. It's very unusual to see Ugandan people wearing that. They would if they could afford it. The first reaction was to confirm our fears. Looks like a tablecloth. It was a disconcerting start. I don't know what you can make of it. I wish you luck, see you next time. Have a smell of this... But then, second thoughts. But it's quite nice with all this mass printing that's going on now that we have something to work with. It's fashionably incorrect to put all these colours together, but that's a strong concept in itself. Mixing up the African prints - the secret formula. And how to do it - pleats. That's beautiful. Once she's pleated that... who live on a dollar a day To meet the farmers To Peru, and the Andes Mountains. Our search took us to South America. with a unique natural advantage. even when they start to make free trade work, for poor countries a story that shows how hard it is Next, something more luxurious, and is starting to take shape. The dollar-a-day dress Or even having panels of this... in a way... Making the pleats work together, a big skirt with layers of this. It'd be quite nice if we had

ALPACA SQUEALS Okay, we'll... Oh! It's spitting! Alonso showed us what was wrong. being sheared. We drove past a herd of alpaca that's being wasted. but it's an opportunity could be a way out of poverty, The alpaca trade depended on alpaca for a living. The communities here have long than their alpaca relatives. their fine hair even more prized a rare herd of wild vicuna... where we came across inhabited regions of the planet, meant a trip to some of the highest Finding out what's gone wrong and the colours muddled. is too coarse by the poor alpaca breeders But much of what he's sent I like to see. This is the type of material This is beautiful. Very fine. This is prime material. the fantastic alpaca quality here. Oh, you can see that shoppers want. of the fine and pure quality that arrive here There are some fleeces and textiles for the world market. that makes alpaca clothes Alonso Burgos helps run a business the good alpaca wool from the bad. they're sorting of Arequipa, At a factory in the city But too often it isn't. as a luxury... if it's good quality. its wool prized by shoppers in the free trade world, their one big natural asset This is the home of the alpaca, that could save them from poverty. and the animals

first high-altitude dating agency, Here Alonso showed us the world's as remote as it's tiny. Alonso's model alpaca ranch, We were on our way to Pachomaca, of the altitude of Everest base camp. which is a few hundred metres short It's about 5000 metres, Well, this is the top of the pass. No. helping to improve their flock? countries, international agencies, Do people have any help from the rich to buy a new breeding stud. if she could only have enough money She could improve her flock a little bit, just enough to eat. (Alonso translates) She does make from this? You make a good living to do anything about it. but they don't have the resources to realise their stock is degraded, Farmers here are starting Bad breeding technique. Bad breeding technique? a very bright future for him. I'm sorry, but not going for his food, mating... walking, running, So this guy will have problems than he should have. And he has more toes and that means contamination. both colours will intermix, at a later stage, and that means that when he's shorn, He's a two-colour animal, one could see in an alpaca. has pretty much all the defects This poor little guy poor-quality hair... or worse. That means coarse, Hybrids. Hybrids? is the huarizo type. and the product of that intermix between llamas and alpacas, where there has been a lot of very low quality flock This is your normal High Andean,

thoroughbred alpaca This is a beautiful Leave him alone! to help us. We need an alpaca wrangler to one of my friends here. I'll try and introduce you They're alpaca. Alpaca. Goats?! Llamas? had any idea what they are. I was just wondering if you It comes from these guys behind me. of the finest textiles in the world. and I'm bringing you back one in the Andes Mountains in Peru, I'm 4000 metres up, ALL: Yeah. Hi. Can you hear me okay? Hi, Steve! PHONE RINGS to the students back in London. showing off our find Still, we couldn't resist opportunity missed. a great global trading thoroughbreds around, So, with only a few true as we are going right now. and we'll just go downhill to change things around will be too small we are doing here in Pachomaca then efforts like the one from outside sources, coming to Peru If we don't get any extra money as it so often promised. to the developed world, to transfer resources and expertise What's needed is for the West ALPACA SPITS ALPACA TRUMPETS cash-strapped Peru. across the rest of under-resourced, has so far not been rolled out But this best practice the dollar-a-day future. they might avoid like this If other farmers bred alpacas ALPACA SQUEALS that shoppers want. to produce the fine hair are chosen scientifically Instead, breeding partners their partners, despite appearances. Only the alpacas don't get to choose exclusively for alpacas.

the superior fibre. if they could really produce Maybe even triple their income It could mean double their income. for their life? What would that mean change the quality of their herds. it would start to completely Within a few generations, the best animals. that could show them how to select Some work with animal scientists reckons more help is needed. He's trying to share it, but he too unavailable to poor Andean farmers. Mike Safley uses breeding expertise Australia, NZ, Canada, Italy. They've gone to England, The genie's out of the bottle. use them to compete with Peru. to the rich countries, which can now have been exported who says some of the best alpacas Mike Safley we met American alpaca breeder In the provincial capital, Arequipa, CHURCH BELLS RING succeeding where Peru's failing. how the rich countries are What we would hear next - to Alonso's pedigree alpacas. So, goodbye and from Alpacaman! Well, goodbye from the Andes and you can judge for yourselves. We'll bring some back It's got beautiful, soft hair. relatives. Just a week or two old. Big wide eyes like his camel in the Andes these days. of the kind you don't often see In the old colonial town of Moquegua scientist Jane Wheeler showed us what a little help could do. Her evidence - potentially the most valuable alpacas in Peru. Jane, what is it? It's a 1300-year-old alpaca mummy. The quality of the fleece is superb. The colours... All of the things that in the present day have disappeared. The ancient mummies could revolutionise alpaca farming. How to do it? Identify their DNA. Then find animals in today's herds with the same genes and selectively breed them. It is scientifically possible but the funds needed haven't arrived. This animal is one I've just fallen in love with. the mummies that I ever saw. and to me it's an absolute inspiration of what needs to be done. Meantime, Alonso's firm does export the fine alpaca when they can find it. Let's try that one. Time to take some back. We're going for the blue alpaca and the red. It's definitely the best we've found. We just hoped it would go down okay with the students. And it did. It's really lovely. Beautiful. Very kind of furry. You could make a teddy bear with it. The challenge - how to use luxury alpaca, which is still quite thick, in the dollar-a-day dress. The students' answer was simple. Make a dollar-a-day jacket. It's nice jacket material. That would be really nice. To check out their idea for the dollar-a-day dress, or outfit, the students went to the studio of Alice Shreeve and Hannah Coniam - the designers behind the Belle & Bunty label. They used to be London College of Fashion students themselves. So you've gone for a dress and jacket for the catwalk show. Did you explore using the pleats on different areas of the body and how that affects a woman's shape? They'd offered to showcase the dress during London Fashion Week. That really works - pleating... like, such a graphic print. But time for a reality check. The dress, made from fabrics we'd chosen, was about to be premiered at a major fashion show in front of 300 people. You've got to take all angles of this outfit into account, because the catwalk is incredibly unforgiving. Almost there. But we wanted one more fabric. This time, from a country that's done what the West asked of it, but still faces disaster. We're in a corner of south-east Asia that's seen economies, even whole empires, collapse before. In Cambodia, history has a way of making anything seem like a passing fashion. At Angkor Wat, the monumental relics of a 1000-year-old lost civilisation overgrown by jungle. Kings and priests used to walk these corridors. We've come to find the unique material they wore. Meet our new friends. These Cambodian worms are unique. They exude a golden thread to make their cocoons, hoping to emerge as moths. In vain. The thread is naturally golden silk, the only such kind in the world. There are other uses for cocoons... though not as profitable. Silk growers and weavers make, again, a dollar or two a day. We'd found the material we were looking for and sent it back to the students in London. The dollar-a-day dress finally revealed. It's Tamzin's last fitting before the big show. It fits much better now. Thanks, girls. Well done. The pleats and the colour clash have paid off. The alpaca's gone into the jacket. The rare Cambodian silk has gone into the lining. In just three days, our designers' efforts will be put to the test... in a trial by catwalk. I'm set. Let's go. Back in Cambodia, the end of the harvest. it's a good job. nobody is exploited, She said it's quite an easy job, or does she feel exploited? Is it a good job, and half for her family home. and accommodation, and half of it is for her food She makes $60 a month, INTERPRETER: by Asian standards. conditions are good International Labour Organization and according to the UN's make almost all Cambodia's exports, Now, garment women into the modern world. and industrialised its way what the West asked, but Cambodia did there were hardly any garment jobs, A decade ago, Women who make clothes we wear. of Cambodia's garment factories. pour through the gates over 250,000 women Every day, came something remarkable. But out of the devastation Well over a million. at their hands. to those who died stands as a memorial A tower of skulls the notorious Khmer Rouge guerillas. in the genocide committed by of Cambodian society along with much in the '70s, the industry was consumed in silk farms now - There are few jobs

like Cambodia's. And no strong trade unions China has huge economies of scale. jobs going to China. may be easy to foretell - the garment industry's future Unlike personal fortunes, was celebrating their New Year. In Phnom Penh, the Chinese community as the Chinese pass them by. Becoming paupers, This is the vision Cambodians fear. and get plenty of profits. where they can find cheap labour They will go to the places conditions or anything like that. investors couldn't care less about that with free trade TRANSLATION: We can see now fear massive job losses. labour leaders like Chhorn Sokha So, with unions strong in Cambodia, and trade unions weakest. in countries where labour is cheapest some global companies placing orders a "race to the bottom" - to what's being called they worry that will lead In Cambodia is now just another free market. world garment industry So the once highly regulated and the fiercest survive. in which only the fittest in the free trade jungle, to compete with each other Poor countries now have for the garment trade changed. But in January, the rules a slice of the world market. The old rules guaranteed Cambodia the quotas were scrapped. But this year, it could be sure of selling. Cambodia was given a quota of clothes for the industry, Under special international rules a market. because it used to be guaranteed a garment industry Cambodia was able to develop Like some other poor countries, is a kind of positive discrimination. owe their jobs to What all these women

cannot survive in Cambodia, it means the whole total economy will collapse. So it's really a big havoc in Cambodia. Good evening, and thank you for the opportunity to speak with you. At a conference in Phnom Penh, Bill Clinton's putting his weight behind Cambodia's attempt to preserve good labour standards in a free trade world. Over the past decade Cambodia has shown an extraordinary ability to emerge from its difficult past. Backing him up, the president of the World Bank which lends money to poor nations. He wants the world to consider new ideas to make sure free trade doesn't threaten workers' rights, like making decent labour standards a condition of loans to countries. If the rich nations don't do more to help the poor, he warns, the world will become a much more dangerous place. Well, I'm more optimistic than I was a few months ago. Cambodia's only hope - using high labour standards as an advantage. We want to put the buyer into a situation where they have to choose. On one side, they have Chinese products - cheap, good quality, can be delivered very fast. They can make whatever you want. On the other side, Cambodian products. Same good quality, but maybe more expensive because of labour compliance. But one thing is guaranteed - your brand name is protected. You're not going to face any possible future boycott because you are sourcing your product from a sweatshop. Here in Cambodia, a whole generation of women have been empowered by the garment industry. Outside the factory, men beg from women. But if shoppers in the rich world don't buy from countries with decent working conditions, the industry may be just another phase in Cambodia's troubled history. If the garment sector back into poverty. millions of Cambodians potentially plunging in the race to the bottom, could be the big winner China, it's widely feared,

But I've been now around this poverty game for too long. And I don't have much faith... in rich people looking after poor people. They don't yet seem to understand that they're interdependent. And that rich people can't stay rich if poor people don't have hope. If they don't have hope, you don't have peace, you don't have markets. So my hope is that people will decide that they need to have a more equitable world before it's forced on them. And so I'm marginally hopeful, but the world has not been terribly intelligent in recent times. And I hope it's more intelligent as we go forward. Slowly, the world is moving towards a free trade system that will benefit poor countries. But as we found, free trade isn't always fair. The fragile economies of poor countries may struggle to compete with the West's technological might and, increasingly, China's economies of scale. Free trade can help. But in a world that's already unequal, it can do harm as well as good. Back home, it's London Fashion Week and Tamzin's about to model the dollar-a-day dress. A little under made-up, I think. I feel a bit naked. Announcing the outfit, Jamie Theakston. So this is it? This is the dress. It's amazing. How does it feel? Really good. Feels like it's got history - maybe cos I know where it's all come from. I feel proud to wear it. Where's the cotton from Mali? Here. That's the Mali cotton. There's the Cambodian silk. That's beautiful, the golden thread. Thanks for modelling it. Thank you! Good luck. Thank you all for rising to our challenge. Well done, girls. The dollar-a-day dress. The dollar-a-day dress. Over a billion people live on a dollar a day, or less... Please put your hands together for the fragrant Tamzin Outhwaite. ..their stories coming together in the dollar-a-day dress. Captions (c) SBS Australia 2005