Listening to NPR this morning and heard a slew of sad news; one particular news story was regarding constant fires in a Bangladesh garment factory. Last November, 112 workers died from a fire and companies such as Gap, H&M and Wal-mart were immediately impacted. Since then, small fires occasionally occur in the unsafe factory causing more trouble and heartache. The safety and livelihoods of these international workers are clearly not protected from mainstream American companies. The convenience of outsourcing has become increasingly popular because it reduces costs, meanwhile a growing number of American employees are left jobless.
According to NPR, a spokesperson for the Gap — which owns the Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic chains — turned down a safety proposal because it did not want to be vulnerable to lawsuits and did not want to pay factories more money to help with safety upgrades. H&M also did not sign on to the proposal because it believes factories and local government in Bangladesh should be taking on the responsibility.
If Bangladesh is supporting these trillion-dollar companies don’t they have a right to be protected? (um, yeah)
What can us fashioinstas do?
- Write to these big companies and tell them to support the international safety proposal or support American job and factories
- Support companies that produce clothes made in the USA. Fashion brands include denim from Rag & Bone, edgy trends from Prabal Gurung, chic pieces from The Row, romantic attire from Nanette Lepore and basics from American Apparel (just to name a few)
- Quality over quantity. American made clothes are more expensive so purchase wisely. Spend on classic pieces. Cherish and wear them more rather than spending on cheap, disposable clothes. Instead of having five white dress shirts purchase one high quality one, free of synthetic fibers
- Enjoy fashion but realize that it’s affects are strong but our effects as a consumer are stronger