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In the wake of the recent Bangladesh factory accidents (the Rana Plaza collapse that has killed 1,127 as of today, and, more recently, a fire that killed eight), the call for labor reform in the Bangladeshi garment industry has grown louder and louder. As pressure mounts, both in Bangladesh and abroad, it seems that industry execs and government officials are finally taking the first steps towards creating a safer, more fair work environment in Bangladesh.
I woke up this morning to news that there had been yet another garment factory fire in Bangladesh, which killed 8 night shift workers. A collective shaking our heads is in order, before we get into the very necessary next steps that fashion brands, the Bangladeshi government, garment labor groups, and we, the “fashionistas,” must take. With 900 garment workers dead and counting, the Rana Plaza factory collapse on April 24 is the worst disaster in the garment industry’s history. Sadly, there are no guarantees it is the last. Just after the collapse, I’d called for brands to start holding their factories accountable, and for us to resist buying fast fashion. The glaring truth: boycotting brands does further damage to this delicate situation.
According to the latest reports, there are now 230 confirmed dead and hundreds injured, with an unknown number of people still unaccounted for. The disaster comes on the heels of two deadly fires at nearby factories. In addition to the sharp rise in body count, several new details have emerged since yesterday's tragic incident, including which brands are involved and details on what's being done to prevent similar disasters in the future. Here's what we know: