Thursday, 8 February 2018


On April 24th, 2013, one of the worst industrial disasters of the 21st century took place and it amazes me that I knew nothing about it. Was it because my 14 year old self was too obsessed with getting invited to the latest house party, rather than paying attention to the world around me? Probably. When watching the documentary on Kanopy, I had no idea that 80% of Bangladesh's exports are due to the clothing industry, providing many jobs for the Bangladeshi people. It is crazy to think that almost everyone owns something made in Bangladesh. 

The Rana Plaza collapsed in 2013 killing more than 1,000 people and around 2,400 left injured.The plaza was owned by the power hungry man, Sohel Rana. This was a man that intimidated many people due to his power as his followers gave him high status and power over people due to his wealth. The building housed many manufacturing workshops that mass produced product, cheaply, for western companies such as Primark, Matalan and Bonmarché

On the day of the event many workers attended the plaza that morning despite the crack and bent pillar that had been reported the day before. The workers attended through fear of loosing their wage and also because Sohel Rana and his people insisted that the building had been seen and they were ensured that it was safe for another 100 years. Of course this was false. The building started to collapse after a power cut caused the generator to turn on which then caused the building to vibrate. It took lesson than 90 seconds for the 8 story building, full of workers, to collapse.

Before the building collapsed the people that worked there didn't have the best life. They were often mistreated in their place of work. The job was strenuous and extremely fast paced, making a minimum of 100 shirts/trousers in an hour. It consisted of late nights and early starts for small wages at around £3.80. Young girls were hid in toilets upon arrival of buyers as they were not supposed to work there. It concerns me that this happens to these people just because it is cheap for western companies. It almost cheapens the lives of the people that died in this horrific event. I can't help but feel as though everyone, despite many being unaware at the time, were part of this problem. We were all guilty of buying clothes in mass because they were cheap, not really caring about the reasoning behind the low pricing. 

After the disaster, Primark donated 9 millions to the survivors and the families of the dead. Other companies made smaller donations. Since then, some western companies inspect the buildings in which their clothes are being made to ensure that this never happens again. The saddest part about this, is that these people live a completely different life to me and despite the fear attached to working in places like the Rana Plaza, Bangladeshi people still do. Its because its all they have and they need money to support themselves and their families.  



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