At least 1,135 people lost their lives and another 2,500 were injured last year in the world’s deadliest garment factory catastrophe in history. These lives are the cost of fashion. Because of big business negligence and a desire to sell--and buy--the most at the cheapest price, warnings of building failure were ignored, workers were forced to continue working and on the morning of April 24, 2013, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, an 8-story-high-building, Rana Plaza, collapsed. Thousands of people paid the price with their lives and livelihoods.
Some of the clothing businesses responsible for this tragedy are names you have probably heard of: Walmart, jcpenney, and Children’s Place. The list is long. The list of those who have compensated workers is not. While a few European companies have taken financial responsibility for these lost lives, none of the American companies have yet to pay their fair share of compensation.
These clothes were made for western consumption at a wage that is the LOWEST in the world: 38 cents an hour. Because of cut-throat competition, suppliers refused to make renovations or pay workers a living wage. Now they turn a blind eye to these lost and injured lives, suffering family members and factory workers who continue to pay the price.
We are furious. You should be too.
Here is what we are doing: We are calling on all the brands whose clothing was made at Rana Plaza – and at Tazreen, the factory where 112 workers were killed in November 2012 -- to pay full and fair compensation to the workers who were injured and to the families of workers who were killed. We are also calling on ALL apparel companies who have not signed onto the “Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh” to do so immediately.
Cost of Fashion is a collaborative project conceived of by Ismail Ferdous and Nathan Fitch. Additional organization for the action provided for by The Illuminator collective and 99 Pickets. Technical design for web and street by Adnan Islam, Grayson Earle, Tennessee Watson, & Jesse Reyes.