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Who’s to blame for the Rana Plaza Collapse?

If someone were to ask you where you got your top, what would you say? Odds are you would say “I got it from ___ brand,” and not identify our clothing with the garment factory across the world it was actually produced in. The fact is, while brands profit and claim products as their own, they take little responsibility for their product’s creation. This became apparent in the wake of the Rana Plaza collapse that killed over 1,000 people due to poor factory conditions. The disaster left the survivors and victims’ families devasted and in need of $30 million in reparations There was a call for the brands who produced at the factory to contribute the compensation, including J.C. Penny, Walmart, Children’s Place, Primark, and many more. Many were reluctant to formally associate themselves with the disaster by compensating and it took over 2 years for the Rana Plaza Donor’s Trust Fund to reach its goal. This has invoked the question of whether or not brands should be responsible for the labor conditions of garment workers. One argument is that brands should definitely be responsible considering the harsh quotas given by the companies to these factories are a factor in their working conditions. On the other hand, there is an argument that if brands become responsible for the conditions of labor workers, brands will move their production to wealthier countries leaving other garment workers without work at all. While both are substantive arguments I personally believe that brands should be responsible for garment workers for the matter of justice. There are ways in which brands can hold more responsibility for their producers without completely switching suppliers, which would probably cost more for the company than aiding their already established partnerships.

Sources:

“Rana Plaza: Are Fashion Brands Responsible for Those They Don’t Directly Employ?” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 10 Apr. 2015, www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/sustainable-fashion-blog/2015/apr/10/rana-plaza-are-fashion-brands-responsible-for-those-they-dont-directly-employ.

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