In Purbalingga, central Java, numerous small workshops represent the first step in a global supply chain. Almost all workers are women, all of them scraping a living by measuring and cutting artificial hair to the requisite size for false eyelashes, and then knitting them onto a thin plastic thread. The job requires intense concentration, often leaving workers with sore eyes and backs. Their financial remuneration for such monotonous work is about $0.04 per pair, sometimes lower. By the time the product reaches Western consumers, the price they pay has often reached $10 a pair – a mark-up of 2,400%.

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