On April 24, 2013, a clothing-production factory collapsed in the Dhakar District of Bangladesh. Over 1,100 of the factory’s workers were killed, and more than 2,500 were injured. It was the largest structural failure in history. Workers of this factory created products for some of the world’s most prominent fashion lines, and, despite knowing about the building’s numerous structural weaknesses, were forced to continue working in the plant by their employers until disaster struck.
After the collapse, Bangladeshi workers’ rights organizations created a workplace safety contract entitled Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, aiming to strengthen the working conditions of the country’s garment industry. This accord’s effectiveness relied on major fashion brands to follow each of the document’s outlined safety terms, and to continue supporting Bangladesh’s employees even if manufacturing costs were raised.
While numerous Western fashion companies did sign the accord, most of the fashion industry’s major players did not. Even today, most of the fashion industry still continues to neglect Bangladeshi workers’ rights, and over 100 cases of garment factory structural disasters have occurred since the Rana Plaza collapse.
We're all responsible for maintaining ethical workplace safety, so the next time you buy a piece of clothing, be a responsible customer. Learn about the manufacturers’ workplace practices, especially in developing countries, and ensure that what you’re buying is made sustainably, ethically, and helps the world and its people — not harms them. And don’t forget: You’ve always got the choice to switch to a manufacturer that does.
All of The Dirty Seahorse’s products are created by ethical manufacturers with highest-quality workplace standards. If you’d like to learn more about our values in employee ethics, contact The Dirty Seahorse now.
Comments will be approved before showing up.