Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

AMFI uses sweatshop to simulate clothing industry

30 Nov 2017 16:20 | Communication

For the second year in a row, the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI) of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) is organising a SweatShop. On 27, 28 and 29 November, the sewing room on the third floor of the AMFI building will be transformed into the ‘AmfiP’ manufacturing company. Second-year Fashion & Management students will spend three days experiencing what it is like to have to make clothing non-stop.

By simulating the textile industry as found in countries like Bangladesh, the AMFI aims to raise awareness among its students about the origins of their clothing. Workers in clothing factories in poor countries have to work under appalling conditions. The 115 students participating in the sweatshop will therefore have hardly any time to eat, drink or use the toilet. They will work uninterrupted shifts of six hours and will have to work even longer if they stop to eat a sandwich in between. Each student will be assigned a task, which will remain unchanged for three days, resulting in assembly line work.


During the SweatShop, students will make prototypes of new collections and one hundred backpacks. The backpacks for adults will be donated to the charity Because We Carry and are intended for refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos. The fabric for the backpacks will be sponsored by camping supply store Kampeerwereld Hendriks and the thread and buttons by fashion brand Claudia Sträter. The backpacks will be provided with a torch, offered by DutchDo. The bags have been designed by AMFI students themselves.

Because We Carry was founded by three young women from Amsterdam concerned about the plight of refugees. They aim to help this group of people by sending rotating teams of volunteers from all over the world to Lesbos every week.