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Saturday, 15 December 2012

Onesies in a Rush?



A soldier walks through the sewing room at Tazreen Fashions, Savar, Bangladesh, on November 25th 2012.  
Over 100 people die.



"On the way to the staircase that leads to the cutting floor I notice hundreds of boxes marked for Carrefour, a huge European multiple that after Walmart is the world's second largest retailer, with an extraordinary 12,500 stores across the world.  The boxes are stacked up along the side of the assembly floor, masking the fire regulations and the yellow signs pointing to the exits.  But then, given that the staircases are almost completely blocked by more boxes, presumably waiting to be picked up to start their long journey to the stores, the exits might not be all that much use.

"'These boxes,' I say pointing out the bleeding obvious, 'they're blocking the stairs. The fire escape! The fire risk!'  My voice is becoming increasingly shrill.. The factory manager is unmoved by my persistent heckling, and continues to clatter down the staircase.  



A woman looks for family members after a textile factory fire in Karachi, Pakistan, 
on September 12th 2012. Over 300 die. 



"We end up for tea and biscuits in the factory manager's office, where again we are told we can ask about anything we like - cue more arm-waving. And so I bang on about the boxes and the fire escape again.

"'Big order,' he says.  'Huge order!'  Yes, I say, but the 500,000-piece order for men's, women's and children's jeans is currently blocking the fire escapes.  'This is not,' he admits, 'a perfect factory.  This is a B-rated factory.'  Who has rated it 'B', I ask.  'It is rated B,' he says and we continue in this vein for thirty minutes.  'The 'B' rating, I'm finally led to believe, is a Bangladesh trade standard, meaning that the factory is not perfect.  Then suddenly the manager turns, his tone becoming increasingly impassioned and accusatory.  'How can I get a good factory when you [in the West] pay so little?'"



 A textiles worker returns to the sewing room at Tazreen Fashions, Bangladesh.  Further information and details here.




If there's one book you read over the holiday, read Lucy Siegle's prophetic To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World?

After that, read Naked Fashion, The New Sustainable Fashion Revolution by Safia Minney. 
Brains will rewire.



Identifying textile workers in Karachi, Pakistan, 
on September 12th 2012. Over 300 die. 





Overcrowded sewing rooms, Tazreen Fashions, Savar, Bangladesh.



Full details of the Savar night shift tragedy here.
.



Relatives prepare to bury loved ones from the Tazreen Fashions Factory tragedy on November 27th 2012.  Further information on the fashion labels found in the embers here. 



There is now a UK-based Fashion Mob that you can join here to raise your concerns with the effects of very fast fashion demands, collectively and strategically.