In the days preceding this tragedy, cracks appeared in the building walls and workers expressed their fears. Management told the workers to return to work, even when the shops and banks on the ground floor of the complex closed. It wasn’t just managers, but deadlines and quotas from powerful corporations that drove this fateful day. It was the insatiable pace of the fashion industry that forced these garment workers to keep working. It was the lack of union representation that left these workers powerless to defy those orders. It was the lack of supply chain transparency that allowed brands to avoid accountability.
Around 5,000 people went to work that day in fear. And the clothes they made in fear were shipped around the world, to major retailers and fashion brands. They were bought by us, and even one t-shirt made in fear is one too many. 29 brands, some of the largest fashion retailers in the world, were identified in the rubble. It would take years for some of them to pay compensation. For some families, providing evidence to claim that compensation would never be possible. Many of the survivors are still unemployed and suffer from severe trauma. Something I feel important to note is that following this tragedy, the fast fashion industry saw its most profitable year, just going to show how blind western corporations are to the mistreatment of the garment workers they commission.
Fashion Revolution was formed in the wake of Rana Plaza to ensure no tragedy of this magnitude will ever take place again. 8 years later, conditions in the global fashion supply chain remain unacceptable, so we will not stop until every garment is made in conditions where workers are safe, in every sense of the word. Today, we encourage you to take time to reflect on the true cost of your clothes. @fash_rev @fash_revusa