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tv   The Stream 2020 Ep 23  Al Jazeera  February 13, 2020 7:32am-8:01am +03

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white house adviser roger stone democrats have criticized barr and the department of justice for overruling federal prosecutors roger stone was sentenced to prison for lying to congress but the justice department said it would reduce the odds the u.s. president has brushed off a decision by the philippines to withdraw from a decades old military pact by the end of the year donald trump said it will save the u.s. a lot of money the former basketball player kobe bryant and his daughter have been birdied death certificates reveal that's who were laid to rest on friday they were among 9 people who died when their chopper went down near los angeles 2 weeks ago those are the headlines on al-jazeera the stream is coming up next thanks for watching. we understand the different cities and similarities of cultures across the way so no matter how you take a. breather and current affairs.
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everyone i am femi oke a more people are embracing hair extensions and wigs from human hair but where does all that head come from and the women being exploited to get it tell us what you think and i live chat on twitter and your conversation could be a law right here in the street. our iana grand days the famous pony tails kylie jenner as we've lined mickey modalities floor length extensions pretty amazing and they all contain human hair and have helped fuel a multi-billion dollar global industry but not all extensions are created ethically a lot of these days comes from developing countries such as me
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a mom and cambodia it belongs to impoverish women who give up their looks to head traders for just a few dollars off the processing that has then sold for up to thousands of dollars to customers in much wealthier nations this exploitation is legal because the head industry is pretty much a regulated more people are starting to push for ethical sourcing but concerns remain about origins and cost of listen to this consumers are very vulnerable you don't always know what you're getting and you don't really have anyone to ask for help and people if you are asking are people who are selling more people when you see how i get here from india obviously you would think for you really think this. is it would really. be. joining us to discuss the hair industry erica e.c.
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is a journalist based in boston erika has traveled to cambodia to speak to some of the women who sell their head to trade is also with us mog. founder of woven hair a chicago based ethically sourced tech company while ago was inspired to start hopelessness of surviving breast cancer at a young age and losing her head to chemotherapy and finally we have valerie a go k. co-founder of hair that is an ethically saul's human hair extensions company in perth australia they'd is it's great to have you i should say food disclosure i have over the years participated in the hay industry but i paid as little as possible because i'm so sheep i. said. if this is such a popular business now for the people of all different ethnicities let me show you something here. this is dash ins global war drobe and this is. the lab room look at the air in here.
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i know it's like. and then just before anyone may be thinking this is just a woman saying. these happy sis out of will head and this are using them too and whoa look at that look how it presses that is human hair right there and then of course who can forget. that headline very nice. that you could not tell even in the rain or wind all right and then remember one more who can forget chris rock's good hair if you were actually his new trying to work out what is the extensions what are we talking about this is the week this is that we have 2 pieces here you know like extensions like like that. really. all right so that's the whole idea of what a hair extension is what they actually look like i'm just wondering wondering erica
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you set out on a journey to find out about cambodia hair extensions wanted you to know that. well i was wearing hair extensions like many women around the world and i really wanted to know where it was coming from i wanted to know did the label actually match the country that if i was buying brazilian heritage it really come from brazil in my research i couldn't really get to any harvesting in brazil and that's when i really started to question with the brazilian hair what did it even come from here and then i stumbled on cambodia as an emerging market for human hair and i wanted to go there and see women that were selling their hair i really wanted to know their story and i deeply wanted to know how much they were being paid for it if anything at all. not in go ahead. and that's really interesting i know a little bit more about the indian here industry but i'm really or i know that women in cambodia are in fact selling their hair and it's you know we don't know
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how much they're getting paid for it it's hard to track it's hard to trace. i'm just looking at the different places around the world where i was sourced from this despite shot gives an idea of where a mostly in asia is where most of the human head sentient comes from all over the world but mostly in asia valerie you started a business trying to find ethical human. why you think the emphasis on ethical what's going wrong in the human hair industry that it would be unethical. well it initially started with my own journey of self-awareness and i think that's commonality that we all share when we understand that we're all interconnected and we began to ask the question so how did this project get into my hands like who was impacted in the production of this process and i also noticed that when i was looking online for different hair extensions a lot of the messages and of course vision of
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a lot of businesses just didn't resonate with where i was at in my journey so i wanted to find something that really aligned with my personal morals and we can just looking at your report that ended up being. used on an n.b.c. feature and then they they actually like you were putting so much they'd then used it made in cambodia how women in poverty are supplying america's market for hair and you meet some of the people who are selling their head that concept of selling ahead how does that sit with you i'm a baby get comfortable and to go back to your last question about ethical sourcing because in my report when i was doing my research i couldn't really find anything i couldn't find a number as i think i saw one report that said some women in cambodia are being paid $15.00 and and that was really much all i had to go with they decided that i wanted to dig further because there was no reporting because things were traced and i just wanted to know i knew how much i was paying for it hair yeah i knew how much
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my girlfriends were paying for hair for human hair and to see anything that that said $10.00 or $12.00 was just deeply disturbing to listen to this was very let's be very candid about this point paying 15 dollars for a head that sounds strange if you've never had it never worn a hair extension what exactly are the women doing what are they giving over why would it only be $15.00. well you have to 1st as a woman think about yourself and your own hair and why and to think about if you were going to cut your hair no matter what texture what length what kind of situation would you have to be in to do that because the women no matter the race you like your hair a want to your hair and i think when the challenge is when choice is taken away and when it's being as a way of survival that becomes the issue. i completely agree with that that's exactly why i wanted it to be a mystical business because i think the common practice is of collecting hair opt
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and remove choice from the table and the one conversation that we don't have which i had with a lot of local indonesian women that's where i hear stories from is that they are very similar to us in america and in australia in their desire to rest their beauty was a hare and when that is stripped away and we don't discuss their story and their desires they have the expense a lot of shame and embarrassment and a sense of this. well use innocent pitches and how you collect the head is a very unusual way in which you do it and most the industry doesn't have in this way they they will go around and and a cut hebblethwaite mean bottle if women take the hell away from them oversea there's some transaction that takes place but not necessarily a transaction so this is not how you do it let's show the pictures and you can explain what we're seeing ahead. so i really believe that we don't have to continue
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to do the same things that we always do in terms of collecting hair it is extremely detrimental to women's wellbeing to cut their hair and i think that narrative needs to be highlighted the way that we collect hair is encouraging women to collect single hair strands so each woman has about 152200 pairs strands that follow their scout every single day so how beautiful is it for women to simply collect their fallen hair and sell it to local indonesian collectors let me show you something yet i have mother i love that you do that that's awesome and i think it's so important to consider that. human hair there's a lot of different ways to harvest and for what it will what does that we actually source are here from temples in india and a lot of that here is fallen here so much of it that you cannot be collected from. actually shaving the head so you know i think there's so many different ways and.
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you know i understand that i think that a lot of people believe their. tongues hearing or collecting here from people that have. willingly given they're here might be unethical but there are a lot of ways that i believe that is actually ethical well then make sure that we. are here specially and and. we make sure that we keep everything extremely. involved within the industry within indian her industry so moch i mean mother let me ask you this i'm going to show a picture here of what thompson looks like so the temples in india. people go to the temple and they will as a matter the religious tradition will take their hair off and you can see the picture here of this happening now the workers at the temple may well then sell
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the head to entrepreneurs who will then go off and then make hair extensions from that there is a question of. ethics in this because the people didn't give the head don't know the head so that you can make head pieces yes so it's really there's it's interesting because. when people tons are here they're doing it for spiritual purposes they're doing it so that they can do something for themselves it's not about anyone else when i travel to india and i talk to the women who tongues are here you know they give they give explanations as to why they're doing it for them and i ask them like how do you feel about your hair being tongues or how do you feel about the fact that it's actually going to these places going to going into the cosmetic care industry it's being sold as extensions and wigs and when i talk to them and ask them that they say you know i you know of course these people that i spoke to and interviewed cannot represent the entire you know population of
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people that are doing this but they said that they feel comfortable in the fact that this is about them this is about their spiritual journey and if someone else can benefit from it in any way especially if they're benefiting from it in a way where they are receiving care because they have lost their own they feel great about that and i feel for me that makes me more comfortable to be able to be involved in that part of the industry but that's not the majority the majority of the hair is not made going towards. people that need it for for medical reasons so someone is donating something out of religious purpose and then it's being it's being exploited for capitalism and then in turn they're not benefiting from it so they gave her one thing and then it turned into another so the question has to be at her supplier how do you feel about it right ask me how do you how do you how do you feel about it and then is that is their choice kind of being manipulated for really capital risk or games along the way without their full consent of what's
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happening to this extension of their body while that yeah i understand i agree and it's difficult and you know i think that when it comes down to it nothing is perfect i don't think that the way that i have chosen to. organize my business and the values that i have i don't think it's all perfect i'm aware that there's a lot going on that you know there could be better ways until you know lab grown hair is the thing i think that their way is that both of us about larry and i you know here in here are doing our business. is is really positive i really don't think that the strategy of tom's ring here is negative in a way because if we weren't using this hair if the human hair industry wasn't this big and we were using it here for wigs and extensions it would it be burned for thousands of years this practice it's been happening and for you know it historically it's been burned it's been used for airplane seats it's been used to
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clean up oil spills typically when men. have shorter hair it can be used for extensions so it's used to. its use for. yeah i actually completely agree with you because i think that we need to step away from blaming our shaming people who are not necessarily being perfect but because this is a journey of progression not perfection and as long as the intention is to move in a direction that is more empowering to people i think that we should encourage that so let me jump in and heal your perspectives that we just bring in the perspective from men and it's difficult to have the means conversation but so important the women who are doing the training the women glistening that so they go to vietnam for this one and 0.5 refinery 29 which is an online publication focused on women and they spoke to somebody who sold her head for $100.00 let's have a listen. anyhow
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man. named jim de mint thing they say is that i'm going to you mr long hair gently you know they'll tell them i fell in love and now that they have a little. going. or i thought i had back with them and more with all these are the wind up now in your 10 hour day and a twee a little over $100.00 the money is more than a month's worth of living expenses for her entire family enough to buy livestock they'll bring in new income stream for years to come. erica i got a question for you live and you choose our audience are watching and listening craig says what was the most surprising thing erica encountered while on the ground with the women in cambodia excellent question craig eric i think thanks greg i think a surprising thing for me on the ground in cambodia was making the link between
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women living in america in the capital city of phnom penh and already living in a dire state due to the poverty there but from the women before and lived there they were able to have some jobs working in hotels in their husbands were also able to have jobs when they were forcibly moved by their government to these remote places and at that point basically abandoned by their government. that will element of vulnerability that allowed her traders to come in and cut their hair for any price and sell it on an international market and also some repair work elise labatt connection of between here and special in a bowl of walkways to a worse place and you can see at the same time that's when we hear trade industry at least in cambodia really started to kick off and is that the africa blaxploitation of taking advantage of people who are in a really challenging place end of the women that i we spoke to. didn't build very
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good about themselves after they're here. valerie you spent some time in bali and you since the time of the women who are selling their the trade is as it were. for your research what were you trying to find out does that make you trained in a very different way so head make head in a very different way because you spent time. absolutely i think when we take time to listen to people story you have below a true sense of empathy and compassion for them in that really changes the way that you perceive anything sitting with their women really started with women welcoming into their homes i had ginger tea with them there was definitely a language barrier but they were so warm and welcoming and what they expressed was that they wanted to just i think a lot of time exploit this a lot and a lot of women don't want to be on camera they don't want to have to cut their hair but they need an additional source of income and that is why it shows the process
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of collecting single hair strands because i believe that it brings choice back to the table empowers them to have a not alternative source of income and i mean that's just the reality of the current economy as well i want to show you something here on my laptop this is krista diamond she slayings here my hair extensions were a big part of my identity but after learning how explicit if they are i'm giving them up for ever is a fantastic before and after picture colleagues caught this head ratty and this head defines you and beautiful and gorgeous and then she found a little black strand in her story blonde hair and that changed her mind about what she was going to do about wearing. extensions human hair extensions this is what she told us here at the stream let's have a listen so i'm here extensions for 40 years but i don't wear them anymore because i think that the industry is here and we exploited the solution for that is to put
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regulations in place that dictate how women who sell their hair pay and how they are treated but really we should be prioritizing women older just as it is a myth thing that you grow from here already we should think about how those people are treated for. so kidding me yes i'm just i'm thinking about how we at the hair extension part of our awareness where we're now saying we shouldn't be using head that hasn't been sourced ethically. i don't think we're there yet i think the conversation is starting it's just now really in the last 10 years or so especially with chris rock's good hair that we're having multiple layers of conversation about hair you know we've talked about the we the extensions the waves and all of that now it's just now with the work that we're doing as a restarting to get to ok we but where did that hair actually come from that is an
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extension of the hair trade and history or just the hair and beauty industry that we're not talking about and hopefully now that door have been open but look at the countries that we're talking about i'm bringing a perspective cambodia we're hearing indonesia and we're hearing india we're hearing different countries around southeast asia and roll telling different tales while telling different tales and retelling different numbers because there is no regulation in this industry at all and i do have some of the hair that i was able to buy in in cambodia for those that wanted to take a look at how do you write in front of your face erica they. look at baggy. hats so there's that that's an ethical sourced head right there that you're holding right yes the hair will in my in my article. was i bought this right in the in the local market you know. so i bought this this is about. maybe 18 to 20
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inches or pear this is on a track or west and this is last year they are book with same with. the alexander. do you have any idea where it came from no i don't and and because there are no regulation. when there's. no paper trail. i definitely found in my reporting that they wanted to keep that secret very difficult to come by just even get to the women was very very difficult when i was in the market talking to people you know publicly it was very difficult i would ask what is the trader coming in they would have and i would feed bags on the floor and i affable back the pair and me and but one of mine i wanted to meet the person that's jumping off that bag of hair that was very difficult so i'm just showing that woven hey you know your website and part of your story is hello you actually get that what stops of people in the industry the human hair industry also
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making an effort to say we didn't take advantage of the women we paid them the right amounts for the hair not pay them a few dollars and then sold it for hundreds of dollars what is stopping the industry for self regulating. you know i think it's just tricky i think it's hard i think people don't want to go that route because it takes more effort it's not easy you know i took a lot for me to get to you know the head of the human here industry and figure out what was actually going on and people don't really i think it's hard and i don't really blame people for you know not wanting to do that but it's absolutely necessary it's. it's really really important that we actually find at the core sources and and make sure that we're doing things the right way lady it's not impossible though ladies she says on twitter as he's watching the show as long as there is demand for hair extensions in the beauty industry someone somewhere in the
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world won't supply insulin for the demand is unfortunate the poor people are being exploited even so they have ethical practices a much needed it occurred to me synthetic a lie told by his synthetic a i mean we're saying good at coming up with ideas about what we put on a hair what we where why not with hetty so is that where we are is it is it just an issue of it not only just an issue or fair trade because it isn't really fair for people that don't want to sell it in the 1st place so you know you have to start there and ask that question and then looking in to the word why can't there be. distinguishable that works in the exact same way and so that these people are throwing their hair or donating their hair are looking at other forms arthur stain of all lifestyle of sustainable ways of taking care of their family rather than just cutting their their hair as
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a way of surviving it can be can they learn something that that will take them forever when muscle in this one comes from twitter from gary and. the tweet here is really kind of sums up our responsibility as people who are using other people's. how does my freedom and pleasure affect another person's freedom in life women ought to be conscious of the consequences of their pursuit for beauty ethical basis is essential to promote humanity good thoughts but i'm wondering if people wandering around with their fantastic human hair a thinking about that t.v. ladies thank you so much erika mauga valerie. so fresh oh for today ah see you next time take a. look at. the
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