UK terrestrial Channel 4 (C4) has unveiled two new factual commissions, including a series in which Mary Portas (Mary Queen of Shops) attempts to convince shoppers to buy British.
In Mary’s Sweatshop, Portas will attempt to reignite the UK clothing industry by convincing shoppers to buy British.
“Britain used to be a manufacturing colossus and renowned for its world-class clothing industry, but today most fashion is made cheaply abroad and 25% of clothing is imported from China alone,” the network said in a statement. “Mary believes that if the UK started making clothes again, consumers would be prepared to pay a little extra, safe in the knowledge that the clothes are produced ethically and that they are helping to create jobs and boost the British manufacturing industry.”
In addition, C4 is lining up its first project with farmer Jimmy Doherty, who is best known for fronting BBC series Jimmy’s Food Factory.
In the three-part series Can You Afford to Care?, Doherty sets out to both explore why “ethical” food is so expensive and to come up with radical and innovative ideas to produce cheaper alternatives for the masses.
In each episode, he will attempt to produce a cheap ethical alternative to a mass-market meat product. “He will have to explore how the mass-produced product is made, come up with an innovative idea for his own cheaper version, and finally try to convince supermarkets to stock it and shoppers to buy and eat it,” said C4.
Both series are slated to air in 2012, and were unveiled by C4′s chief creative officer Jay Hunt during the Edinburgh International Television Festival.