On Thursday 4/24 it will be one year since the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh. I realized that I haven’t purchased any new (and very little used) clothing since this tragedy occurred. It has made me feel sad and sick and paralyzed and angry — I haven’t even moved much beyond just… not buying anything whist I think about it some more.
I wanted to pause and acknowledge that although a few changes have been made, things are still pretty terrible. Not only are the factories that get inspected still full of violations, but there is a whole other layer of off the books factories that big companies use to maximize their profits. It’s infuriating and immoral yet it’s the only work for over 4 million people — are people like me making it worse for them to earn what little they do? How do we make the corporations that use these factories pay the workers more and improve the conditions? I honestly don’t know. They haven’t even paid the families of the dead and injured what they said they would pay them.
Did the Rana Plaza disaster change your fashion buying habits too? I make it a point to not read the comments on most online news articles, but was extremely interested to read what people had to say about this subject. It seems most people who were moved to comment feel as paralyzed and unsure as me, and have been buying less, and buying used.
What a mess we have gotten ourselves into!