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.
Building a Conscious Wardrobe
Fashion isn’t all fun and games; there is a true cost to the clothes that we wear. The fashion industry is one of the most polluting in the world and many of the garment workers who produce the clothes we wear are not paid a living wage and work in horrible conditions.
We want to change the way people think about their clothes through our new publication ‘Building a Conscious Wardrobe – And Other fun Things.’ This beautiful publication is a cross between a book and a magazine and includes simple how-to tips for shopping, styling, caring and disposing of clothing and textiles in a more conscious way, profiles on ethical and sustainable designers, short essays, inspiring visual editorials and personal stories.