On April 24, 2013 a building in Bangladesh collapsed killing 1,138 people and injuring over two thousand more. This building was called Rana Plaza and among other businesses housed within the complex was a large garment factory. Here a workforce made up of mostly women produced apparel for brands including Benetton, Mango, and Primark.
The collapse of Rana Plaza is considered the deadliest garment-factory disaster in history. Tragically, such loss of life could have been prevented. In the lead up to the collapse workers had identified cracks in the building and after a power outage on the morning of April 24, they were reluctant to enter the building.
Despite this reluctance, however, workers were forced into the building to begin work, a decision allegedly made by managers in a bid to complete garment orders according to deadline. It took a disaster of this magnitude for the wider world to realise that being able to purchase a cheap knock-off two weeks after it was first seen on the runway isn’t worth the cost of someone’s life.
And, as is often the case in times of great tragedy, initiatives have been born to ensure that an incident such as this never happens again. Millions of people are now asking #whomademyclothes.