Over 300 people have died in the garment factory collapse in Bangladesh. There are 50 people buried under the rubble. The factory was built on a swampland.
This raises, once again, really tough questions for us–for which there are no simple answers.
Anna McMullen has a helpful, balanced, reasonable article, called “Who Really Pays for Our Cheap Clothes?” in which she suggests the responsibility is not ultimately or primarily the consumer’s. The consumer “shops” for a reasonable deal. Furthermore, to refuse to buy clothing produced in sub-par conditions may also accomplish–if anything at all–nothing more than put poor garment workers out of work. It’s a complex deal. Globalization, economics, labor, massive disparity, questions of proper accountability–there are more questions here than answers. But there are some solutions that corporations can participate in, but progress requires a critical mass–and that the voices of the voiceless be heard.