Who made my clothes was a question I asked after the Rana Plaza collapsed in Bangladesh. Who were these people? Did they have dreams and aspirations like I did?
Workers pointed out the building was structurally unsafe, showing management large cracks in the pillars. Locked in the factory and forced to “continue working or you’re out of a job,” that pays less than $2 per day.
The factory collapsed killing more than 1100 people. Some survivors lost their limbs from walls trapping their legs or arms.
I watched rescue workers make the decision to operate on site to save a woman’s life. This was the most inhumane documentary I had ever watched. And it was all about fashion.
Dyeing For Fashion
As the death toll continued to rise, the profits generated in the west continued to rise also.The global fashion industry is almost a 3 trillion dollar industry because of fast-fashion.
In one year a factory fire killed over a hundred people. And another factory collapse killed over 300 people. Rana Plaza set a record. How many more people have to die?
Here in the west fast-fashion appeals to the working poor. They are the new middle class and they’re also vulnerable. The bottom of a value chain clearly has a profit.
This enormous industry that generates incredible wealth for a handful of people can easily support their workers properly. But they do not. Safety at work is a human right. Everyone should have it.
Over 85% of factory workers are women just like you and I. Mother’s Aunts, Sisters, Nieces Daughters.
Women who are trying to get ahead, feed their children and keep a roof over their heads on less than $40/mth salary.
Who Made My Clothes?
Careless production and endless consumption. Consumers are part of the problem. It’s time to become a conscious consumer.
We in the west aren`t thinking of countless women who make $7 jeans, or $8 shoes.
Women in the west are trapped in a shopping cycle aimed at the working poor made by the working poor.
The idea of keeping up with trends and online shopping hauls via Youtube has propelled the fast-fashion industry into the second largest consumer sector after food.
The price we pay is too high. For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction. Can you guess what that is? Disruption to estrogen levels for start.
Deadly metals as dangerous as lead. Cheap fashion has a ton of toxic chemicals that are absorbed through our skin.
Today I remember the worst garment disaster in history. This is why I continue to ask the question Who Made My Clothes?
Get involved, write to clothing companies and demand transparency. Be a smart shopper, invest in your clothing. Buy quality. Spend Less.