Friday, April 24, 2015

Fashion Revolution: 2 Years after Rana Plaza

Photo Credit: Fashion Revolution

Wow, Earth Day and Fashion Revolution in the same week! Awesome.  

Unfortunately, the date of Fashion Revolution is the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse that occurred in Bangladesh on April 24, 2013. To sum up in case you missed it, 1133 people died when a garment factory collapsed. Structural cracks has been found in the building the previous day and a bank and a few shops on the first floor closed immediately due to safety concerns. However, the garment workers were forced to go to work, some where even threatened to lose a month's pay if they didn't, and the 8 story building collapsed during the morning rush. 

It took over 6 months for some fast fashion clothing brands to even admit that they had clothes made in the factory. Primark offered the families of its deceased workers $200 if they were able to provide a DNA sample proving their loved ones death. Primark didn't provide any DNA sample kits, thankfully the United States stepped in to provide DNA kits. 

Is your blood boiling yet? A building was deemed unsafe, yet workers were forced to go in because people half way around the world needed $10 tshirts. Companies tried to hide that they even worked there and then when they couldn't they offered victims a measly $200. 

Would that happen in America?

HELL NO. 

Should it have happened in the first place?

HELL NO.

No affiliate links today, no lists of "buy this," just a call for everyone to think about what you're purchasing dollars mean. Did your clothing purchase put someone's life in danger? Did a child make your sneakers? Is a young mother able to support her family while making your clothes? Can a dad pay for his kid's school supplies while making accessories? 

Worker safety is one of the biggest reasons I only buy American made clothes. I'd love to be able to support others around the world, but unfortunately there are so few companies that provide the transparency to feel secure knowing that my dollars were spent safely. Don't get me wrong, companies are listening and we've now got places like Everlane and Zady that provide radical transparency and work to ensure that their foreign workers are safe and being treated fairly. They produce items both domestically and internationally and tell you exactly where each piece is produced.  And I support that! I've yet to buy an imported item from those companies, but I plan to in the future because I want to support the mission that they are doing. 

I believe in hustling. I believe in putting yourself out there. If you've got an idea, then go for it. Put yourself at risk. That I totally support.

I don't support treating workers like subhuman people and taking advantage of cheap labor. Human lives are not cheap, no matter what the person looks like, what body parts they have, what they believe in, and where they live. 

Get involved. Look at your tags today and ask the brand "Who Made My Clothes?" Visit Fashion Revolution for more information on how you can get involved.  #WhoMadeMyClothes 

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