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Shadows on the Runway: Fashion's Dark Side

AfP

The recent tragedy in Bangladesh has brought a critical eye on the garment and fashion industries, but foreign regulations make it difficult for a now-aware public to have much impact. Even when a number of concerned groups attempt to persuade consumers to avoid certain companies' goods, the impact is usually minimal. Hopefully this time there can be some real change in the way employees are treated.

 

A week on, the Rana Plaza catastrophe in Bangladesh is now the deadliest catastrophe in the history of the garment industry, with the death toll exceeding 500. The gruesome accounts of rescuers cutting off limbs from trapped workers (sometimes without anaesthesia) surely leaves a stain on brands that no new collection, celebrity endorsement or micro-trend can wash away? Doesn’t it?

However, it was simultaneously shocking and grimly predictable. Those who have petitioned the fashion industry to face up to its responsibilities will have felt as sick as I did when they heard a factory complex had collapsed in Dhaka. Read More

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