Exactly 4 years ago today, the worst tragedy in fashion’s history occurred: On April 24, 2013 the Rana Plaza factory collapsed in Bangladesh. 1,138 garment factory workers were killed and a further 2,500 people injured.
The Rana Plaza building housed several garment factories that employed over 5,000 garment workers who produced apparel for major Western brands, including United Colours of Benetton, J.C. Penney, Mango, Primark, The Children’s Place, and Walmart. The factory was never designed to house that many workers, but the owners bent to the pressure of the fast fashion industry to make clothing quicker and cheaper, requiring them to bring in more workers. Many of the workers (and victims) were young women and girls, as they could be paid less.
When people ask “Why should I go out of my way to find ethical clothing? Why should I have to pay more for a t-shirt when I can get a cheap one at H&M?” This disaster is why. If a $5 or $7 pair of jeans means that someone DIED making them for me, then I don’t want them and I refuse to be part of the fast fashion cycle any longer.
To honor the anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster, Fashion Revolution Week remembers those that had their lives cut short in the name of fast fashion and works to improve the conditions and wages of the 75 million garment workers across the globe. It takes place from 24-30th of April every year. According to the Fashion Revolution website, “We use this week to encourage millions of people to
ask brands ‘Who made my clothes’ and demand greater transparency in the fashion supply chain.”
You can help by going to FashionRevolution.org to learn more and to donate to this worthy cause.