Westerners addicted to cheap clothes, prof says
The building contained several clothing factories, as well as other businesses and apartments. There had been warnings to avoid the building after cracks appeared, but garment workers had been ordered back to work.
To mark the one-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse, the Bangladesh Canada Association of Sudbury is holding a rally on Lasalle Boulevard starting at 5:30 p.m. April 24, just outside the New Sudbury Centre.
Laurentian University economics professor Sadequl Islam, one of the organizers, said the rally is designed not only to remember the victims of Rana Plaza, but also to raise awareness of the human cost of sweatshops and put moral pressure of brand companies to contribute to a Donors' Trust Fund for the victims.
Islam, who is originally from Bangladesh himself and wrote a book a decade ago about the country's garment industry, said these companies are also under pressure to ensure their clothes are humanely produced.
So far, though, it's mostly European companies who have signed onto an accord making these kinds of promises, he said.
The Bangladesh garment industry is mostly a product of westerners' addiction to cheap fashion, Islam said.
“You've heard that expression the race to the bottom,” he said. “All these retail companies, they want clothes as cheap as possible.”
If westerners are willing to purchase cans of tuna labelled dolphin friendly or coffee labelled fair trade, they'd likely pay a little more for clothes labelled worker friendly, Islam said.