Condolences Alone Will Not Help the Garment Workers of Bangladesh

Bangladesh, Dhaka, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, workers rights, human rights, sweatshops, sweatshop labor, sweatshop workers, forced labor, Primark, Mango, Tazreen Fashions, Rana Plaza, Walmart, C&A, Primark, KiK, Mango, The Children's Place, Dress Barn, Joe Fresh, Benetton

Photos by Andrew Biraj for Reuters

The world is still reeling from heartbreaking scenes in Bangladesh, where over 380 people died when a building collapsed last Wednesday, containing factories producing clothing for our high-street shops. The news covered live scenes of people digging with their hands in the rubble to drag bodies out, voices trapped inside asking for water and saying they couldn’t breathe, weeping families who have lost loved ones. But the sad fact is that this isn’t an isolated incident. More than 700 workers have died in factory collapses and fires in this very small region outside the capital city of Dhaka in the past decade alone.

Bangladesh, Dhaka, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, workers rights, human rights, sweatshops, sweatshop labor, sweatshop workers, forced labor, Primark, Mango, Tazreen Fashions, Rana Plaza, Walmart, C&A, Primark, KiK, Mango, The Children's Place, Dress Barn, Joe Fresh, Benetton

Photos by Andrew Biraj for Reuters

HISTORY REPEATING

Savar, where the building collapse took place, is a swampland which has seen mass growth in recent years, with hundreds of factories thrown up in a short space of time, and limited building regulation or health and safety measures. This same region saw the horrific Tazreen factory fire in November last year, where 112 workers burned alive in a building with no fire exits.

Brands so far have expressed shock and condolence for the families of workers who have died. But condolences aren’t what Bangladesh needs now.

In 2005, a similar factory building collapse, Spectrum, killed over 100 workers. Not to mention numerous small-scale incidents that don’t hit global news headlines. Fires and workplace disasters have been taking lives every month in factories in Bangladesh for as long as these factories have existed.

Brands so far have expressed shock and condolence for the families of workers who have died. But condolences aren’t what Bangladesh needs now. Families of victims need a proper response which with make sure they are compensated fully, and Bangladesh’s workers need to know they will not put at fatal risk every time they enter work places to produce our T-shirts.

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One Response to “Condolences Alone Will Not Help the Garment Workers of Bangladesh”

  1. polyanna says:

    All international companies who had clothing manufactured at any stage in the production process should reach very deeply into their pockets – they are all culpable either by turning a blind eye to what is known internationally as we all jump to ‘consume’ ‘ fast fashion’ at cheaper and cheaper prices. They pick the poorest people in the worst districts and descend on them like true predators to exploit, extract from and in this case exterminate a sub class of the working economies…poor poor people and their families – they will not doubt wait years for compensation, be degraded further and subject to humiliations after tragedy .

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