rana plaza

This week is a time for us to reflect on our connections. If we can feel we are part of one large human family, we can truly make better choices, strive to support brands that work ethically and push "conventional" brands to work harder at improving their supply chains.
Industry wide strategies aimed at improving labour laws are essential; only through freedom of association can the millions of voiceless individuals employed in this multi-billion dollar industry take a lasting stand against systemic injustices. There is an urgent need for both the industry and the public to hear this collective call to action.
Garment workers desperately want to keep their jobs, so boycotting brands is not the way forward. They want to work. In many countries the garment industry is of the few avenues to financial independence for women.
Three years ago this week the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, came crashing down in what remains the worst industrial accident in the global garment industry. Over 1,134 people were killed and thousands more left seriously injured.
One may argue that sweatshops or as they call them factories in countries such as Cambodia contribute to their economical wellbeing where clothing manufacturing industry is one of the biggest export industries.
Despite raised awareness of conditions in the industry through devastating events like the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh in 2013, consumer desire for fast fashion trumps ethics. Why is this? The reasons are complex, but in our hyper-globalised world with extended supply chains, it is extremely difficult to relate to the workers and processes that bring clothes to our high streets and into our wardrobes.
We've decided to focus on sustainable fashion for the month of September. We want to redefine modern consumerism - in other words, how and why we buy the clothes we wear. Because honestly, how did we get to a point where we care so little about our clothes that we're willing to throw it in the bin because returning it is too much hassle? To amplify the message, we've asked one of the most powerful voices in sustainable fashion to be our guest editor for this month: Livia Firth, the creative director of Eco Age. A particularly memorable outfit was re-purposing husband Colin's old suit for the Paris premiere of The King's Speech...
After the tragedy of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh we have only seen piecemeal change for developing world garment workers - token pay rise announcements after accidents and as a result of protests. Why do we not see blanket, tangible reform?