Bangladesh factory death toll passes 700

Sean Robertson, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Bangladesh factory collapse that occurred a day after concerned workers noticed a crack in the building’s exterior wall has killed 700 people and counting, becoming the worst garment industry disaster in history (Associated Press via ABC).

Now is a time for grieving, for emotional recognition of the hundreds of innocent lives lost for no reason. But it’s also a time for righteous anger. It’s a call to action. We have an obligation as human beings to come to the aid of those who suffer. We have a duty as partakers in the fast fashion industry to repent. And we have the power as consumers to do something, to hold companies accountable, to change our habits.

Below are the companies that worked with this particular factory (Time):

  • Walmart
  • Joe Fresh
  • Primark
  • JC Penney
  • Benetton
  • Children’s Place
  • Dress Barn
  • Cato Fashions
  • The Walt Disney Company

We should take note that dozens of other first world retail chains are likely affiliated with the Bangladeshi garment industry; they’re off the hook for now because their production practices haven’t ended in visible, large scale disaster. We have an obligation to stop shopping at the retailers above and always do our research before shopping elsewhere.

700 people. That’s more people dead than my high school graduating class that filled the floor level of a college arena. That’s 2 people dead for each day of an entire year. And for nothing. There is no spin we can put on it to make it better. People died for $38.00 a month in wages. To feed their families. Just trying to make a life for themselves.

Leah Wise

Leah Wise is the founder of StyleWise Blog. She has been writing, speaking, and consulting on sustainable fashion, the fair trade and secondhand supply chain, and digital marketing for over ten years. An Episcopal priest, Leah holds a B.A. in Religion from Florida State University and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. When not working, you can find her looking for treasures at the thrift store.

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  1. I think the only thing we can do is make good decisions and help make others aware that their purchases matter.

  2. my goodness. I stopped shopping at walmart permanently because of this but how do we keep this from happening again? I shop mostly at second hand, thrift, and consignment stores but it's the consumers' need for cheap goods that encourages these types of accidents. I'm guilty of this too.

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