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Melancholy Factory Worker Depictions

Michael Wolf Reveals the True Story Behind Beloved Toys

— January 20, 2013 — Tech
Photographer Michael Wolf provides a glimpse into the seldom known world of Chinese factory workers.

His series entitled 'The Real Toy Story' portrays the laborers working tirelessly to make several of the beloved products we much adore. As shiny and new products are put on equally shiny shelves, there becomes an instant disconnect within our society as to truly understanding where these products came from and how they were made. These photos, which show workers on the assembly line or enjoying a meal with one another, highlights their stuffy environments, monotonous lifestyles and their tireless commitment to creating toys for western consumers. This series puts a face to previously anonymous individuals who are responsible for making these toys, which demonstrates that they are not just robots.

Though these pictures may at times be depressing, Michael Wolf finally gives these laborers much deserved recognition.
Trend Themes
1. Worker Exploitation Awareness - Michael Wolf's 'The Real Toy Story' series brings attention to and raises awareness about the living and working conditions of Chinese factory workers.
2. Transparency in Supply Chain - The disconnect between consumers and the origin of their products, highlighted by Wolf's photos, opens up opportunities for companies to prioritize transparency in their supply chain.
3. Humanizing Manufacturing Industry - Wolf's photos offer a new perspective on the manufacturing industry and provide opportunities for companies to focus on improving the working conditions for their employees and humanizing their operations.
Industry Implications
1. Toy Manufacturing - Companies within the toy manufacturing industry can take initiatives in improving the livelihood of the factory workers and providing transparency in their production process.
2. Clothing and Apparel Manufacturing - Similar to the toy manufacturing industry, clothing and apparel companies can also take measures in prioritizing transparency and ethically sourcing labor to humanize their manufacturing process.
3. Consumer Electronics Manufacturing - The photos serve as a reminder for consumer electronics companies to take into account the working conditions of their manufacturers and to improve the transparency of their production process in order to prioritize humanizing their industry.
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