Photo: Zakir Hossain Chowdhury/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
April 24th of this year marked the 5th anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse where more than 1,100 people died and many were injured. Rana Plaza is one of the thousands of garment manufacturing high rises in Dhaka, Bangladesh. “It now has the horrific distinction of being the site of the deadliest garment factory disaster ever.” https://www.racked.com/2018/4/13/17230770/rana-plaza-collapse-anniversary-garment-workers-safety
Over the last five years, the above article link explains, safety measures have been implemented and working conditions have improved for the stitchers, but the pay is so low it doesn’t reach the minimum monthly wages of Bangladesh. This low pay traps workers, mostly women, in a poverty cycle. These are the people who pay the price of our cheap clothing. All of the big fast fashion names: H&M, Gap, Zara, etc. have garments manufactured here. And while many of them signed on to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (http://bangladeshaccord.org/), some of these companies are reluctant to pay a living wage (about triple what the workers currently receive).
As you make your shopping choices, even on a budget, check the label and remember Rana Plaza, remember the workers who are currently trapped in poverty. We vote with our dollars. If we are willing to pay a little more for our clothing (to worthy brands), we can put the squeeze on the corporations that are exploiting people for profit. Fashion Revolution asks “Who made my clothes?” Are your brands worthy of your dollars? Are they doing right by the people who make our clothes?