Bangladesh: The Collapse of Ethics

Result of the collapse
On April 24th, a clothing factory in Bangladesh collapsed, killing over a thousand people (1127 at time of writing). Clothing brands, such as Mango and Joe Fresh, are receiving criticism as their clothing was produced in the collapsed factory. Other brands, like H&M and Zara, are teaming up in order to prevent things like this from happening. And while these brands are working to preserve their name and to create positive PR, I have seen less news about this than Kim Kardashian's fail of a Met Gala dress in the fashion world.

Am I saying I haven't read a lot on the Met Gala? I have read a fair share and even wrote a post about it. But so many people have turned a blind eye to this tragedy in the blogosphere and it's due to two things - guilt and payoff.

Unless you are a social justice superstar or a nudist, at one point or another you've probably worn something made in a sweatshop. Nike is one high profile name which utilizes sweatshops. Nike is known for high-quality athletic wear and is pretty coveted within this realm. If you can afford it, why not get it - right?  This is where guilt sets in, especially when a factory collapses and kills a third of the amount of those killed on September 11th.  All so we can wear high status clothing. Yeah, it doesn't feel good. And so the guilt sets in, and typically we begin to ask ourselves when does the guilt outweigh the payoff?

Buyers don't really have much of a voice when it comes to where clothing is produced. Many companies want to make money and many consumers want to feel food about themselves. And, for this reason, companies will never have the guilt outweigh the payoff. Yes, they will add preventive measures because there is some form of guilt, but ultimately these companies want to spend the least amount of money in production to turn the highest profit possible. I'm not saying that these companies don't value human life, but sometimes it seems they value money more-so and what consumers opinion of the company is at the time.

In the companies defense, the point of a business is to make money and typically the more prestige a company has the more money their products will cost. Also, these sweatshops give people a job (if you can call it that...), even though there is that huge debate of American companies resourcing, which is a whole different monster.

So, since the companies won't change anything other than slightly amping security, will consumers do anything? For a short period, maybe. Much like Kony 2012, I don't see this being a huge issue in a few months from now. Whatever is hot is what people will jump on.  And it really is discouraging. We could speak out against this, but as long as the companies are making money, not strong moves will be made. Money speaks and people complain.

To read more about the Bangladesh factory collapse, read this article and this one as well. Both served as sources.

I'm more than happy to continue this discussion! Leave a comment if I've fired you up.

Note- I keep posting these since GFC will be obsolete . Twitter and Bloglovin' are both great ways to keep up with me so, please, check them out.


  1. what a tragedy! how did the building collapsed?
    Delightful Ideas

  2. After I heard about this I felt so guilty wearing my Joe Fresh items, but the truth of the matter is most of the clothes we are exposed to purchasing are produced in factories such as this. LOL don't even get me started on business trying to make a profit (unethically). Although my major was in business I have some serious concerns against stock, and shareholders. Great article, thanks for sharing xo

  3. really great post, it is really rare that people talk about the crimes behind fashion! you should read is fashion wearing out the world, such a great book and really changes your perspective!
    xx Kate

    The Style Department