Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Pound of Flesh

There are somethings about the fashion industry that bother me deeply.  One is the issue of worker safety.  It has been over 100 years since the Triangle Shirtwaist Company disaster--seamstresses burned to death in their NYC factory with no escape route.  The sad part is that it still happens.  We like to think that whoever made our clothes got to go home from work and hug their kids.  Reality says likely not.

Just because you bought something with a "Made in Italy" stamp does not mean that whoever made it was exempt from exploitation.  Reuters reports that on Dec 1, 2013, 7 workers burned to death during a nightime fire in their factory/dorm.  They slept in an area made of cardboard walls.  No wonder they never had a chance.  The factory had illegal building occurring that was not up to standards.  The article hints at that fact that the workers were working in near "slave-like" conditions and were probably illegal.  Too bad it doesn't elaborate on what life was like for those workers or what company they were producing garments for.  No dress is worth such suffering.

The worst fact is that this is not an isolated incident.  Tragedies of this nature seem to be regular occurances world-wide, like in Bangladeshby WalMart suppliersin Pakistan, and even factories in the US burn down.  Workplace safety is important, no worker should burn to death in a garment fatory.  What should you and I as consumers do about this?  Quite farnkly, I don't know.  Post comments of any ideas!

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