Bad News Tuesday

December 13, 2011

by Gracia Ventus

This piece of news is old, but I believe its relevance is even stronger. Most high-street fashion companies are still not respecting basic human rights because current labour practices are still far worse than what you and I can ever ever imagine.

Sometime last year, Bangaladeshi garment workers went on strike because they were severely underpaid. Child labourers also joined the demonstrators but here’s how they ended up on the streets.

As an Asian kid being raised by a Tigress of a mom, caning is not that foreign to me. But noone deserve to be beaten up like an animal. Heck, animals don’t deserve that either.

‘Many of the rioting workers are employed by plants which make ready-to-wear garments for sale in western high street stores.

“We worked for them,” shouted one striking worker. “They are doing business and making money, but not paying us.”

An estimated three million workers, mostly women, are employed in the Bangladeshi garments industry. The lower paid workers earn a minimum monthly salary of 1,660 taka, equivalent to less than £18. They have demanded an increase to 5,000 taka. Owners said last week they could pay no more than 3,000 taka a month.’

It’s difficult to differentiate the companies who are making an effort from those who are paying lip service, or worse, being serial offenders. This website is a good place to start. I know it’s extremely difficult to resist pieces from Zara, or H&M because they’re that cheap. I’m guilty as charged. But we’ve got to start somewhere so that fashion brands will wake up and change their business strategies to a more sustainable one.


4 thoughts on “Bad News Tuesday

  • Anonymous

    by Anonymous on December 14, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Those photos show something terrible regardless of the context. I was operating under the assumption, or probably delusion, that true designers were avoiding this. Example: Dolce & Gabbana do (or at least did) much of their main-line production at their own factory in Italy – presumably not a sweatshop. Now that D&G has “merged” into the main-line, who really knows what is made where. I hope its safe to have faith in Rick Owens/Olmar and Mirta. This post inspires an even greater appreciation of the previous one on Aoi Kotsuhiroi.

  • Anonymous

    by Anonymous on December 16, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Thanks for sharing this info, as you say yourself, it’s important to start somewhere, and being aware of what is going on is already something. Cheers for this post.

  • Anonymous

    by Anonymous on February 23, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Thanks for sharing this. But how can we stop buying those, if the salary we have is few. I can only afford H&M, zara. :(

    • The Rosenrot | Gracia Ventus

      by The Rosenrot | Gracia Ventus on February 23, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      I can understand your dilemma. What I can suggest it to buy fewer items at a higher quality, or go on Ebay for second hand goods. Often you will find many high-quality unworn pieces, still new with tags, at a much more affordable price. I too still buy some items from high street stores, but it’s usually basics from Uniqlo which I will wear for a long time. It’s tough to know how ethical our purchases are so what I do is that I try to buy less new items from the stores.


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