Bangladesh garment factory disaster: wake up call?

Like you, we are following the news of the worst garment building disaster in Bangladesh's history and mourn for the lost lives and injured workers. Continue to ask where your clothes are made and under what working conditions. If they are cheap, there's a reason.

What can you do?

  • Listen to CBC Radio One's Q host's essay on the factory disaster (April 26, 2013)
  • Listen to CBC's Q interview with with the Wall Street Journals' Zain Mahmood about the factory building collapse in Bangladesh...and what has, or hasn't happened, locally and internationally, to improve the working conditions for those who make "fast fashion" for the West. (Look for the podcast link for April 26, 2013.)
  • Read this: How can you tell if your shirt was made in a sweatshop?
  • Listen to CBC's Q interview with Lucy Siegle, author of "To Die For." (2011)
  • Listen online to a garment factory worker who survived the 8-story building collapse. Learn about the real working conditions and poor wages.
  • Bangladesh: Sign this petition demanding Walmart sign onto the independent fire safety inspection program after the recent fire in the Bangladesh garment factory.
  • Thailand/Burma: Read this excellent book about Burmese women migrant garment/textile workers in Thailand.
  • Cambodia: Sign this petition to send a message to Cambodia’s big buyers H&M, Levis, GAP and Zara right now to tell them they must pay a living wage.
But consider that boycotts are not the answer because people who make our clothes need living wages. And safe, good working conditions.

Other alternatives to consuming fast fashion are:
  • Write to and pressure companies that contract and sub-contract to fast fashion makers.
  • Buy fairly traded clothing.
  • Buy locally made clothing.
  • Buy higher quality clothing less frequently.
  • Buy used.
  • Sew your own.
Canadian designed & sewn jacket using fairly traded fabric from Thailand