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Morocco's Tree of Life 17
Essaouira, Morocco
By Gemima Harvey
20 Feb 2015

Argan oil has a multitude of uses: it can be drizzled over salads, cous cous and tagines to add a nutty taste, applied as a scar healing, skin rejuvenating, nail strengthening and hair vitality treatment and used medicinally as an anti-inflammatory and to aid with immunity and blood circulation.

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Morocco's Tree of Life 15
Essaouira, Morocco
By Gemima Harvey
20 Feb 2015

Argan oil has a multitude of uses: it can be drizzled over salads, cous cous and tagines to add a nutty taste, applied as a scar healing, skin rejuvenating, nail strengthening and hair vitality treatment and used medicinally as an anti-inflammatory and to aid with immunity and blood circulation.

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Morocco's Tree of Life 16
Essaouira, Morocco
By Gemima Harvey
20 Feb 2015

Argan oil has a multitude of uses: it can be drizzled over salads, cous cous and tagines to add a nutty taste, applied as a scar healing, skin rejuvenating, nail strengthening and hair vitality treatment and used medicinally as an anti-inflammatory and to aid with immunity and blood circulation.

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Argan: Morocco's Tree of Life
Essaouira, Morocco
By Gemima Harvey
16 Feb 2015

On the stretch of a road between Essaouira and Marrakech in Morocco, prickly-leaved argan trees span out to the horizon in every direction, thriving in the arid climate where few other plants could prosper. Argan oil is so versatile and valuable it’s likened to ‘liquid gold’. With a wide-platform of uses, both culinary and cosmetic, and long list of medicinal properties, the oil is an attractive commodity and the rest of the world is catching on to its healing benefits.

Argan (Argania spinosa) is an endangered species that plays a vital role in resisting the ever-creeping Sahara Desert. The trees are also found in Algeria and have been successfully introduced to Israel but Morocco is the only nation that hosts a meaningful scale.

Exports more than doubled in the last 5 years to 700 tons, Bloomberg reported in 2013, adding that growing demand had bumped up wholesale prices 50 percent since 2007, to $30 a litre. Retail prices can exceed 10 times that amount.

Tap, tap, crack. Tap, tap, crack. The sound of argan nuts being split open between smooth river stones continues in a repetitive beat. Tap, tap, crack. Three barefoot Berber women are propped up with cushions, sitting cross-legged, as they go through the motions. Beside them are baskets brimming with argan pieces — the fruit casings, discarded shells and prized kernels — picked from the ‘Tree of Life’, a spiny evergreen, endemic to southwest Morocco.

Herds of goats climb the gnarled trunks, staring out from the canopy between indulgent mouthfuls of plum-sized argan fruits. A camel cranes its neck to secure a bite. The peel and pulpy flesh are a favourite treat for animals but the kernels are cherished for another reason: their oil.

Morocco’s argan forests cover about 800,000 hectares near the Souss Valley, an area framed by the Atlas Mountains, Atlantic Ocean and Sahara Desert, which hosts roughly 21 million trees and has been given UNESCO protection as a ‘biosphere reserve’.

According to the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), argan trees support the livelihoods of 3 million Moroccans, about 10% of the country’s population, who use the husks as firewood, the fruit for animal fodder and the pips to make precious oil. Argan oil is an important economy for locals — particularly for women, who have grouped together to form more than 150 cooperatives. Chemistry professor and founder of Morocco’s first female-run argan collective, Zoubida Charrouf, told the IDRC that the women’s incomes have increased to about €6 a day, 10 times more than a few years ago.

Argan oil has a multitude of uses: it can be drizzled over salads, cous cous and tagines to add a nutty taste, applied as a scar healing, skin rejuvenating, nail strengthening and hair vitality treatment and used medicinally as an anti-inflammatory and to aid with immunity and blood circulation. No wonder Berbers call argan the ‘Tree of Life.’ Assaisse Ouzeka is a certified organic cooperative, a short drive from Essaouira, which employs about 30 women.

Dipping freshly made bread into a paste of argan oil, honey and crushed sweet almonds is a favourite breakfast for locals. It’s called ‘Amlou’ and is like ‘Moroccan peanut butter,’ Ms Kanzi, from Assaisse Ouzeka, says.

Searching through bottles on shelves at Assaisse Ouzeka, you will see products used in Moroccan beauty rituals since antiquity, like Savon Noir, the black soap used as a traditional scrub at hammams and Rassouline, a mix of volcanic stones and argan oil infused with rose or orange blossom.

The Moroccan secret is out. Argan oil is now being sold around the world, and it’s not just a niche market for boutique and online brands either, big names like Unilever and L’Oréal are using the ‘miracle’ ingredient in hair care ranges.

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Morocco's Tree of Life 01
Essaouira, Morocco
By Gemima Harvey
23 Sep 2013

Herds of goats climb the gnarled trunks of argan trees, staring out from the canopy between indulgent mouthfuls of plum-sized argan fruits. A camel cranes its neck to secure a bite.

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Morocco's Tree of Life 05
Essaouira, Morocco
By Gemima Harvey
23 Sep 2013

A Berber woman from argan cooperative Assaisse Ouzeka, near Essaouira, patiently goes about the motions of cracking argan nuts to retrieve the prized kernels, which are used to make precious argan oil.

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Morocco's Tree of Life 06
Essaouira, Morocco
By Gemima Harvey
23 Sep 2013

Berber women from argan cooperative Assaisse Ouzeka, near Essaouira, patiently go about the motions of cracking argan nuts to retrieve the prized kernels, which are used to make precious argan oil.

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Morocco's Tree of Life 07
Essaouira, Morocco
By Gemima Harvey
23 Sep 2013

A Berber woman from argan cooperative Assaisse Ouzeka, near Essaouira, patiently goes about the motions of cracking argan nuts to retrieve the prized kernels, which are used to make precious argan oil.

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Morocco's Tree of Life 08
Essaouira, Morocco
By Gemima Harvey
23 Sep 2013

Berber women from argan cooperative Assaisse Ouzeka, near Essaouira, patiently go about the motions of cracking argan nuts to retrieve the prized kernels, which are used to make precious argan oil.

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Morocco's Tree of Life 09
Essaouira, Morocco
By Gemima Harvey
23 Sep 2013

A Berber woman from argan cooperative Assaisse Ouzeka, near Essaouira, patiently goes about the motions of cracking argan nuts to retrieve the prized kernels, which are used to make precious argan oil.

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Morocco's Tree of Life 10
Essaouira, Morocco
By Gemima Harvey
23 Sep 2013

Laila Kanzi, from argan cooperative Assaisse Ouzeka near Essaouira, holds up a handful of argan nuts and a handful of dried fruit casings.

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Morocco's Tree of Life 11
Essaouira, Morocco
By Gemima Harvey
23 Sep 2013

Laila Kanzi, from argan cooperative Assaisse Ouzeka near Essaouira, holds up some of the prized kernels that are used to make precious argan oil.

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Morocco's Tree of Life 12
Essaouira, Morocco
By Gemima Harvey
23 Sep 2013

Laila Kanzi, from argan cooperative Assaisse Ouzeka near Essaouira, shows off the traditional hand mill used to press argan kernels into a paste, adding warm water to separate the oil from the more solid proteins.

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Morocco's Tree of Life 13
Essaouira, Morocco
By Gemima Harvey
23 Sep 2013

Laila Kanzi, from argan cooperative Assaisse Ouzeka near Essaouira, discusses the many different uses of argan oil, from beauty elixir to a traditional breakfast dip called "Amlou".

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Morocco's Tree of Life 14
Essaouira, Morocco
By Gemima Harvey
23 Sep 2013

Laila Kanzi, from argan cooperative Assaisse Ouzeka near Essaouira, with some of the cosmetic products created from argan oil. These include scented body oils and face creams. Argan oil is packed with healing properties and has become the new darling of the cosmetic industry internationally.

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Morocco's Tree of Life 02
Essaouira, Morocco
By Gemima Harvey
22 Sep 2013

A goat climbs an argan tree in search of the fruits it enjoys snackng on on the road between Essaouira and Marrakech, an abundant argan tree area.

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Morocco's Tree of Life 03
Essaouira, Morocco
By Gemima Harvey
22 Sep 2013

A goat climbs an argan tree in search of the fruits it enjoys snackng on on the road between Essaouira and Marrakech, an abundant argan tree area.

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Morocco's Tree of Life 04
Essaouira, Morocco
By Gemima Harvey
22 Sep 2013

Goats climb an argan tree in search of the fruits they enjoys snackng on on the road between Essaouira and Marrakech, an abundant argan tree area.

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Herbal High
Nairobi, Kenya
By U.S. Editor
12 May 2013

Khat, a stimulant similar to the coca leaf in South America, is heavily distributed within Nairobi, the largest city and capital of Kenya. It is cultivated in Meru and arrives in Eastleigh, a suburb of Naroibi, at 2 pm everyday. Khat is pre-ordered and bundled with the customer's name written on each sack, which local vendors then collect and sell to local chewers. Local khat vendors come to Eastleigh to sell the stimulant to Somalis who make up most of their customer base. Since it's an important cash crop for Kenyans and Ethiopians, Khat is a thriving business. It is now Ethiopia's second largest export behind coffee. Though khat has been banned by the US and other European countries, it remains legal in the UK and is shipped to the UK four days a week from Kenya.

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Made in Bangladesh (23 of 23)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By Michael Biach
01 Apr 2013

Bangladesh’s garment industry is responsible for nearly 80% of the country’s exports – mainly to Europe and the United States – and therefore the single greatest source of economic growth.

An estimated number of two to three million people are employed in more than 4,000 factories all over the country, not including the thousands of sub-suppliers. About 80% of the working force are women. Although violating national law sub-suppliers often still employ children under the age of 14.

Workers are reliant on the engagement to support their families. Jobs are highly underpaid – most factories pay the maximum of 1,500-2,000 Taka (about 15 – 20 Euros) per month. Labor time is up to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

Several clothing buyers asked the Bangladeshi government to raise the minimum wages but factory owners argue that they will not be competitive against Vietnam, China and other big producers if they raise wages and therefore would have to close their factories and discharge all their employees.

As people are reliant on their jobs they are still willing to work even if underpaid. Continuous riots by textile workers break out – leading to short-term shutdowns and often to injuries and fatalities among workers. It is unlikely that either the international clothing companies nor the local Bangladeshi factory owners will bear the costs of raised wages.

A change of the situation will only be achieved if consumers are aware of the social inequity and put pressure on the companies involved.

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Made in Bangladesh (22 of 23)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By Michael Biach
01 Apr 2013

Bangladesh’s garment industry is responsible for nearly 80% of the country’s exports – mainly to Europe and the United States – and therefore the single greatest source of economic growth.

An estimated number of two to three million people are employed in more than 4,000 factories all over the country, not including the thousands of sub-suppliers. About 80% of the working force are women. Although violating national law sub-suppliers often still employ children under the age of 14.

Workers are reliant on the engagement to support their families. Jobs are highly underpaid – most factories pay the maximum of 1,500-2,000 Taka (about 15 – 20 Euros) per month. Labor time is up to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

Several clothing buyers asked the Bangladeshi government to raise the minimum wages but factory owners argue that they will not be competitive against Vietnam, China and other big producers if they raise wages and therefore would have to close their factories and discharge all their employees.

As people are reliant on their jobs they are still willing to work even if underpaid. Continuous riots by textile workers break out – leading to short-term shutdowns and often to injuries and fatalities among workers. It is unlikely that either the international clothing companies nor the local Bangladeshi factory owners will bear the costs of raised wages.

A change of the situation will only be achieved if consumers are aware of the social inequity and put pressure on the companies involved.

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Made in Bangladesh (21 of 23)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By Michael Biach
01 Apr 2013

Bangladesh’s garment industry is responsible for nearly 80% of the country’s exports – mainly to Europe and the United States – and therefore the single greatest source of economic growth.

An estimated number of two to three million people are employed in more than 4,000 factories all over the country, not including the thousands of sub-suppliers. About 80% of the working force are women. Although violating national law sub-suppliers often still employ children under the age of 14.

Workers are reliant on the engagement to support their families. Jobs are highly underpaid – most factories pay the maximum of 1,500-2,000 Taka (about 15 – 20 Euros) per month. Labor time is up to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

Several clothing buyers asked the Bangladeshi government to raise the minimum wages but factory owners argue that they will not be competitive against Vietnam, China and other big producers if they raise wages and therefore would have to close their factories and discharge all their employees.

As people are reliant on their jobs they are still willing to work even if underpaid. Continuous riots by textile workers break out – leading to short-term shutdowns and often to injuries and fatalities among workers. It is unlikely that either the international clothing companies nor the local Bangladeshi factory owners will bear the costs of raised wages.

A change of the situation will only be achieved if consumers are aware of the social inequity and put pressure on the companies involved.

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Made in Bangladesh (20 of 23)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By Michael Biach
01 Apr 2013

Bangladesh’s garment industry is responsible for nearly 80% of the country’s exports – mainly to Europe and the United States – and therefore the single greatest source of economic growth.

An estimated number of two to three million people are employed in more than 4,000 factories all over the country, not including the thousands of sub-suppliers. About 80% of the working force are women. Although violating national law sub-suppliers often still employ children under the age of 14.

Workers are reliant on the engagement to support their families. Jobs are highly underpaid – most factories pay the maximum of 1,500-2,000 Taka (about 15 – 20 Euros) per month. Labor time is up to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

Several clothing buyers asked the Bangladeshi government to raise the minimum wages but factory owners argue that they will not be competitive against Vietnam, China and other big producers if they raise wages and therefore would have to close their factories and discharge all their employees.

As people are reliant on their jobs they are still willing to work even if underpaid. Continuous riots by textile workers break out – leading to short-term shutdowns and often to injuries and fatalities among workers. It is unlikely that either the international clothing companies nor the local Bangladeshi factory owners will bear the costs of raised wages.

A change of the situation will only be achieved if consumers are aware of the social inequity and put pressure on the companies involved.

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Made in Bangladesh (19 of 23)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By Michael Biach
01 Apr 2013

Bangladesh’s garment industry is responsible for nearly 80% of the country’s exports – mainly to Europe and the United States – and therefore the single greatest source of economic growth.

An estimated number of two to three million people are employed in more than 4,000 factories all over the country, not including the thousands of sub-suppliers. About 80% of the working force are women. Although violating national law sub-suppliers often still employ children under the age of 14.

Workers are reliant on the engagement to support their families. Jobs are highly underpaid – most factories pay the maximum of 1,500-2,000 Taka (about 15 – 20 Euros) per month. Labor time is up to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

Several clothing buyers asked the Bangladeshi government to raise the minimum wages but factory owners argue that they will not be competitive against Vietnam, China and other big producers if they raise wages and therefore would have to close their factories and discharge all their employees.

As people are reliant on their jobs they are still willing to work even if underpaid. Continuous riots by textile workers break out – leading to short-term shutdowns and often to injuries and fatalities among workers. It is unlikely that either the international clothing companies nor the local Bangladeshi factory owners will bear the costs of raised wages.

A change of the situation will only be achieved if consumers are aware of the social inequity and put pressure on the companies involved.

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Made in Bangladesh (16 of 23)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By Michael Biach
01 Apr 2013

Bangladesh’s garment industry is responsible for nearly 80% of the country’s exports – mainly to Europe and the United States – and therefore the single greatest source of economic growth.

An estimated number of two to three million people are employed in more than 4,000 factories all over the country, not including the thousands of sub-suppliers. About 80% of the working force are women. Although violating national law sub-suppliers often still employ children under the age of 14.

Workers are reliant on the engagement to support their families. Jobs are highly underpaid – most factories pay the maximum of 1,500-2,000 Taka (about 15 – 20 Euros) per month. Labor time is up to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

Several clothing buyers asked the Bangladeshi government to raise the minimum wages but factory owners argue that they will not be competitive against Vietnam, China and other big producers if they raise wages and therefore would have to close their factories and discharge all their employees.

As people are reliant on their jobs they are still willing to work even if underpaid. Continuous riots by textile workers break out – leading to short-term shutdowns and often to injuries and fatalities among workers. It is unlikely that either the international clothing companies nor the local Bangladeshi factory owners will bear the costs of raised wages.

A change of the situation will only be achieved if consumers are aware of the social inequity and put pressure on the companies involved.

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Made in Bangladesh (15 of 23)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By Michael Biach
01 Apr 2013

Bangladesh’s garment industry is responsible for nearly 80% of the country’s exports – mainly to Europe and the United States – and therefore the single greatest source of economic growth.

An estimated number of two to three million people are employed in more than 4,000 factories all over the country, not including the thousands of sub-suppliers. About 80% of the working force are women. Although violating national law sub-suppliers often still employ children under the age of 14.

Workers are reliant on the engagement to support their families. Jobs are highly underpaid – most factories pay the maximum of 1,500-2,000 Taka (about 15 – 20 Euros) per month. Labor time is up to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

Several clothing buyers asked the Bangladeshi government to raise the minimum wages but factory owners argue that they will not be competitive against Vietnam, China and other big producers if they raise wages and therefore would have to close their factories and discharge all their employees.

As people are reliant on their jobs they are still willing to work even if underpaid. Continuous riots by textile workers break out – leading to short-term shutdowns and often to injuries and fatalities among workers. It is unlikely that either the international clothing companies nor the local Bangladeshi factory owners will bear the costs of raised wages.

A change of the situation will only be achieved if consumers are aware of the social inequity and put pressure on the companies involved.

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Made in Bangladesh (14 of 23)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By Michael Biach
01 Apr 2013

Bangladesh’s garment industry is responsible for nearly 80% of the country’s exports – mainly to Europe and the United States – and therefore the single greatest source of economic growth.

An estimated number of two to three million people are employed in more than 4,000 factories all over the country, not including the thousands of sub-suppliers. About 80% of the working force are women. Although violating national law sub-suppliers often still employ children under the age of 14.

Workers are reliant on the engagement to support their families. Jobs are highly underpaid – most factories pay the maximum of 1,500-2,000 Taka (about 15 – 20 Euros) per month. Labor time is up to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

Several clothing buyers asked the Bangladeshi government to raise the minimum wages but factory owners argue that they will not be competitive against Vietnam, China and other big producers if they raise wages and therefore would have to close their factories and discharge all their employees.

As people are reliant on their jobs they are still willing to work even if underpaid. Continuous riots by textile workers break out – leading to short-term shutdowns and often to injuries and fatalities among workers. It is unlikely that either the international clothing companies nor the local Bangladeshi factory owners will bear the costs of raised wages.

A change of the situation will only be achieved if consumers are aware of the social inequity and put pressure on the companies involved.

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Made in Bangladesh (13 of 23)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By Michael Biach
01 Apr 2013

Bangladesh’s garment industry is responsible for nearly 80% of the country’s exports – mainly to Europe and the United States – and therefore the single greatest source of economic growth.

An estimated number of two to three million people are employed in more than 4,000 factories all over the country, not including the thousands of sub-suppliers. About 80% of the working force are women. Although violating national law sub-suppliers often still employ children under the age of 14.

Workers are reliant on the engagement to support their families. Jobs are highly underpaid – most factories pay the maximum of 1,500-2,000 Taka (about 15 – 20 Euros) per month. Labor time is up to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

Several clothing buyers asked the Bangladeshi government to raise the minimum wages but factory owners argue that they will not be competitive against Vietnam, China and other big producers if they raise wages and therefore would have to close their factories and discharge all their employees.

As people are reliant on their jobs they are still willing to work even if underpaid. Continuous riots by textile workers break out – leading to short-term shutdowns and often to injuries and fatalities among workers. It is unlikely that either the international clothing companies nor the local Bangladeshi factory owners will bear the costs of raised wages.

A change of the situation will only be achieved if consumers are aware of the social inequity and put pressure on the companies involved.

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Made in Bangladesh (12 of 23)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By Michael Biach
01 Apr 2013

Bangladesh’s garment industry is responsible for nearly 80% of the country’s exports – mainly to Europe and the United States – and therefore the single greatest source of economic growth.

An estimated number of two to three million people are employed in more than 4,000 factories all over the country, not including the thousands of sub-suppliers. About 80% of the working force are women. Although violating national law sub-suppliers often still employ children under the age of 14.

Workers are reliant on the engagement to support their families. Jobs are highly underpaid – most factories pay the maximum of 1,500-2,000 Taka (about 15 – 20 Euros) per month. Labor time is up to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

Several clothing buyers asked the Bangladeshi government to raise the minimum wages but factory owners argue that they will not be competitive against Vietnam, China and other big producers if they raise wages and therefore would have to close their factories and discharge all their employees.

As people are reliant on their jobs they are still willing to work even if underpaid. Continuous riots by textile workers break out – leading to short-term shutdowns and often to injuries and fatalities among workers. It is unlikely that either the international clothing companies nor the local Bangladeshi factory owners will bear the costs of raised wages.

A change of the situation will only be achieved if consumers are aware of the social inequity and put pressure on the companies involved.

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Made in Bangladesh (18 of 23)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By Michael Biach
31 Mar 2013

Bangladesh’s garment industry is responsible for nearly 80% of the country’s exports – mainly to Europe and the United States – and therefore the single greatest source of economic growth.

An estimated number of two to three million people are employed in more than 4,000 factories all over the country, not including the thousands of sub-suppliers. About 80% of the working force are women. Although violating national law sub-suppliers often still employ children under the age of 14.

Workers are reliant on the engagement to support their families. Jobs are highly underpaid – most factories pay the maximum of 1,500-2,000 Taka (about 15 – 20 Euros) per month. Labor time is up to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

Several clothing buyers asked the Bangladeshi government to raise the minimum wages but factory owners argue that they will not be competitive against Vietnam, China and other big producers if they raise wages and therefore would have to close their factories and discharge all their employees.

As people are reliant on their jobs they are still willing to work even if underpaid. Continuous riots by textile workers break out – leading to short-term shutdowns and often to injuries and fatalities among workers. It is unlikely that either the international clothing companies nor the local Bangladeshi factory owners will bear the costs of raised wages.

A change of the situation will only be achieved if consumers are aware of the social inequity and put pressure on the companies involved.

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Herbal High (8 of 18)
Eastleigh Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
11 Mar 2013

A group of men deliver preordered parcels of khat in Eastleigh daily. Khat is a a leafy stimulant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. In these areas, khat chewing has a long history as a social custom dating back thousands of years. Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya. March, 2013.

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Herbal High (10 of 18)
Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
10 Mar 2013

Khat is sold for relatively cheap prices. One bunch of the best quality khat which is often shared between two people costs $40. A bag of just the leaves can be as cheap as $1 a bag. Sacks of khat arrive to Eastleigh at 2pm on a daily basis. The shrub and is ordered and bundled with the customer's name written on their sack. Local vendors then collect their parcels and sell them to local chewers. Khat is a a leafy stimulant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. In these areas, khat chewing has a long history as a social custom dating back thousands of years. Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya. March, 2013.

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Made in Bangladesh (5 of 23)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By Michael Biach
10 Apr 2012

Child labor in Bangladesh's garment industry. In a hot and dusty room kids package jeans for export.

Bangladesh’s garment industry is responsible for nearly 80% of the country’s exports – mainly to Europe and the United States – and therefore the single greatest source of economic growth.

An estimated number of two to three million people are employed in more than 4,000 factories all over the country, not including the thousands of sub-suppliers. About 80% of the working force are women. Although violating national law sub-suppliers often still employ children under the age of 14.

Workers are reliant on the engagement to support their families. Jobs are highly underpaid – most factories pay the maximum of 1,500-2,000 Taka (about 15 – 20 Euros) per month. Labor time is up to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

Several clothing buyers asked the Bangladeshi government to raise the minimum wages but factory owners argue that they will not be competitive against Vietnam, China and other big producers if they raise wages and therefore would have to close their factories and discharge all their employees.

As people are reliant on their jobs they are still willing to work even if underpaid. Continuous riots by textile workers break out – leading to short-term shutdowns and often to injuries and fatalities among workers. It is unlikely that either the international clothing companies nor the local Bangladeshi factory owners will bear the costs of raised wages.

A change of the situation will only be achieved if consumers are aware of the social inequity and put pressure on the companies involved.

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Made in Bangladesh (4 of 23)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By Michael Biach
10 Apr 2012

Young and sometimes underaged workers in Bangladesh's garment industry.

Bangladesh’s garment industry is responsible for nearly 80% of the country’s exports – mainly to Europe and the United States – and therefore the single greatest source of economic growth.

An estimated number of two to three million people are employed in more than 4,000 factories all over the country, not including the thousands of sub-suppliers. About 80% of the working force are women. Although violating national law sub-suppliers often still employ children under the age of 14.

Workers are reliant on the engagement to support their families. Jobs are highly underpaid – most factories pay the maximum of 1,500-2,000 Taka (about 15 – 20 Euros) per month. Labor time is up to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

Several clothing buyers asked the Bangladeshi government to raise the minimum wages but factory owners argue that they will not be competitive against Vietnam, China and other big producers if they raise wages and therefore would have to close their factories and discharge all their employees.

As people are reliant on their jobs they are still willing to work even if underpaid. Continuous riots by textile workers break out – leading to short-term shutdowns and often to injuries and fatalities among workers. It is unlikely that either the international clothing companies nor the local Bangladeshi factory owners will bear the costs of raised wages.

A change of the situation will only be achieved if consumers are aware of the social inequity and put pressure on the companies involved.

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Made in Bangladesh (2 of 23)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By Michael Biach
10 Apr 2012

Young and often under aged workers in Bangladesh's garment industry.

Bangladesh’s garment industry is responsible for nearly 80% of the country’s exports – mainly to Europe and the United States – and therefore the single greatest source of economic growth.

An estimated number of two to three million people are employed in more than 4,000 factories all over the country, not including the thousands of sub-suppliers. About 80% of the working force are women. Although violating national law sub-suppliers often still employ children under the age of 14.

Workers are reliant on the engagement to support their families. Jobs are highly underpaid – most factories pay the maximum of 1,500-2,000 Taka (about 15 – 20 Euros) per month. Labor time is up to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

Several clothing buyers asked the Bangladeshi government to raise the minimum wages but factory owners argue that they will not be competitive against Vietnam, China and other big producers if they raise wages and therefore would have to close their factories and discharge all their employees.

As people are reliant on their jobs they are still willing to work even if underpaid. Continuos riots by textile workers break out – leading to short-term shutdowns and often to injuries and fatalities among workers. It is unlikely that either the international clothing companies nor the local Bangladeshi factory owners will bear the costs of raised wages.

A change of the situation will only be achieved if consumers are aware of the social inequity and put pressure on the companies involved.

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Made in Bangladesh (1 of 23)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By Michael Biach
10 Apr 2012

An under aged boy working for a sub-supplier in Dhaka's garment industry.

Bangladesh’s garment industry is responsible for nearly 80% of the country’s exports – mainly to Europe and the United States – and therefore the single greatest source of economic growth.

An estimated number of two to three million people are employed in more than 4,000 factories all over the country, not including the thousands of sub-suppliers. About 80% of the working force are women. Although violating national law sub-suppliers often still employ children under the age of 14.

Workers are reliant on the engagement to support their families. Jobs are highly underpaid – most factories pay the maximum of 1,500-2,000 Taka (about 15 – 20 Euros) per month. Labor time is up to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

Several clothing buyers asked the Bangladeshi government to raise the minimum wages but factory owners argue that they will not be competitive against Vietnam, China and other big producers if they raise wages and therefore would have to close their factories and discharge all their employees.

As people are reliant on their jobs they are still willing to work even if underpaid. Continuous riots by textile workers break out – leading to short-term shutdowns and often to injuries and fatalities among workers. It is unlikely that either the international clothing companies nor the local Bangladeshi factory owners will bear the costs of raised wages.

A change of the situation will only be achieved if consumers are aware of the social inequity and put pressure on the involved companies.

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Origin Rwanda (5 of 30)
Rwanda
By jonathankalan
07 Jun 2011

A dry-mill outside Huye, southern Rwanda, where coffee parchment is dried and processed into green beans for international export.

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Origin Rwanda (6 of 30)
Rwanda
By jonathankalan
07 Jun 2011

Coffee parchment being sorted at Nyamubera Washing Station, western Rwanda. Sorting is mostly done by women, as seasonal day labor, for around 800 RWF/day ($1.25)

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Origin Rwanda (7 of 30)
Rwanda
By jonathankalan
07 Jun 2011

Coffee cherries waiting to be weighed at Nyarusiza Coffee Washing Station in southern Rwanda.