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BBC OnePanorama


Last Updated: Monday, 7 March 2005, 15:39 GMT
The dollar a day dress
Tamsin Outhwaite models the dollar a day dress
BBC One, Sunday, 6 March 2005, 22:15 GMT

Panorama travelled the world to create "The dollar a day dress" - a symbol of how the world trade system harms the poor. Reporter Steve Bradshaw travelled from the Sahara to the Andes to discover some of the harsh truths about free trade and its impact on the developing world.

In each country he collected fabrics for an outfit which symbolises the plight of the millions who live on less than a dollar a day - designed and made by a group of top London fashion students and modelled at London Fashion Week by Red Cap and former Eastenders star Tamzin Outhwaite.

In 2005 Britain will chair the G8 and try to lead the world in the fight against poverty. Many believe the best way to help is to ensure a free and liberal world trade system - so the poor can work their way to prosperity rather than relying on Western aid.

But Panorama's report argues that unregulated free trade may do more harm than good unless the rules of the game are changed to put the needs of poor countries first. On the journey Panorama discovered that

  • In Mali the famous Blue Men of the Sahara wear traditional cotton robes - but the country's impoverished cotton farms face unfair competition from subsidized American producers.

  • In Uganda markets are full of second-hand clothes donated to charities in the rich countries - clothes which are desperately needed but help prevent the textile industry recovering from the Idi Amin days.

  • In Peru alpaca farmers remain mired in poverty while the West fails to provide the technological help to rescue the industry from decline.

  • In Cambodia garment workers risk destitution as new trade rules threaten a Race to the Bottom over labour standards.

    Production team:
    Reporter:Steve Bradshaw
    Producer: Huw Marks
    Deputy Editors: Andrew Bell, Frank Simmonds
    Editor: Mike Robinson

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