The fashion industry is in an awkward spot. Although the clothes are sometimes better quality, it's super expensive to produce garments in first-world countriesâ€”who, undoubtedly have higher labor standards. And, with designs being released at a frantic pace, companies dump as few dollars into each collection to ensure they're not brought down by a slumping line. Normally, wearing clothes made in poor, third-world conditions isn't a crisis of conscience, right? It's out of sight, out of mind. Until now.
The recent tragedies at factories in Bangladesh have people questioning whether scoring a super cheap T-shirt is really worth it. Last year, a factory caught fire and killed more than 100 people. Maybe, people could brush that off as an awful blip, a one-time deal. Then, last week, more than 400 died in a collapsing garment factory. This has brought closer attention to what's really going on in these factories. Bangladesh and cheap garment production go hand-in-hand. The country is home to more than 4,500 clothing factories, according to CNN, that produce items for the likes of J.C. Penney, Wal-Mart, Sears, Benneton, Joe Fresh, and more.
We're not here to point fingers, or even say we have a definitive answer to these atrocities. We just hope the fashion industry can take its eyes off the bottom-line for a minute and focus on safety. But, we're equally to blame for our insatiable hunger for price-point garments that we won't wear next season. At least for now, we have to assume equal blame.