Web Editors' Choice 2012

By Bloomberg - 2012-12-24T16:25:34Z

Photograph by Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

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Victoria's Real Secret

Cam Simpson spent more than six weeks in West Africa to capture the plight of Clarisse Kambire, a 13-year-old child laborer who suffered abuse and malnourishment while picking cotton that was certified as "Fair Trade" for U.S. consumers. Forced labor and child labor aren't new to African farms, but Clarisse's cotton was supposed to be different. To tell the story, Simpson criss-crossed Burkina Faso four times, interviewing dozens of children, farmers and others who knew the truth behind the labels.

The result was a multi-media package of photos, video and stories that revealed the secret behind Victoria's Secret cotton and led to a 2012 U.S. investigation into Fair Trade certification.