Thursday, May 30, 2013
Bangladesh Fashion Industry Controversy
After the deadly Rana Plaza collapse which claimed the lives of 1,130 people this year, apparel buyers have started leaving Bangladesh for other countries including Cambodia, Indonesia, Pakistan, etc,. Is it possible that large fashion brands and retailers are unjustifiably caving to the pressure put on them by the media? When a specific factory does not meet safety standards, it does not mean that the entire country should be abandoned. For those of you that have shouted, “close down all garment factories in Bangladesh”, please keep in mind the unemployed people that would be left behind in the wake.
The poverty level in Bangladesh is beyond belief. When a factory closes, where do you think those people are going to get a new job? Where are they going to get food? Where will they live?
The unfortunate reality is that international garment buyers are critical to improving factory safety in Bangladesh. If the larger corporations leave Bangladesh, the number & quality of factory inspections will likely diminish. Large clothing companies often have more stringent rules and inspection processes than smaller companies. If large international clothing buyers are not in Bangladesh pushing factory owners to do better, potential troubles may become more likely.
Buyers should not be dissuaded by global scrutiny of safety in Bangladesh. Each factory is different and needs to be evaluated separately. Obviously, buyers should NOT work with factories that do not meet safety standards. However, they should continue to work hard to find factories that do meet and surpass the standards.
Is it proper to pull out from the entire country? A more responsible concept would be for the clothing companies to stay in Bangladesh, and work with factory owners to “improve”.
Help make Bangladesh better. Don’t turn your back on the factories or the people.
What is your thoughts on the subject? Should the garment industry leave Bangladesh, or stay there and help the factories improve?
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