Improving Factory Conditions Is Worth the Price
Students around the country last week discussed about what needs to be done to improve working conditions in our #DoNowFashion post. We asked students Who should be responsible for the manufacturing of clothing in unregulated and unsafe factories? Would you pay more for clothes if they were manufactured in better conditions? Look at the label of a garment that you recently purchased and find out the brand and where it was made. Take a picture and tweet it with the info.
Last year, a clothing factory in Bangladesh collapsed, killing more than 1,100 workers. The event brought more attention to improving safety conditions, but many labor advocates argue that more needs to be accomplished. Compensation was given to some of the victims and their families, yet it often did not cover the cost of the damage. Additionally, more than 150 clothing companies signed a legally binding agreement to create safer factories. However, very few American retailers took park in the agreement. This slow progress towards creating better conditions accentuates how not every consumer is willing to pay a higher price for their clothing. With the lack of regulation and disconnection between the consumer and these clothing factories, fashion companies are able to pay less money for manufacturing, making it cheaper for people to buy the clothing items in stores.
Students discussed wide variety of points, from who should be held responsible for creating safe working conditions to the role of the consumer. The majority agreed that factory conditions need to improve, no matter what the cost.
Who should be held responsible?
Students argued about who should be held accountable for creating safe conditions.
— nicholas massaro (@MassaroNicholas) April 18, 2014
— Jessi Ellin (@JessiEllin) April 16, 2014
— Fanny Law (@FannyLaw3) April 15, 2014
Would you pay more?
Other students discussed whether or not they would be willing to pay more for their clothes.
— Kaitlyn Thomas (@KaitlynWHKE) April 15, 2014
— Jacob Cundill (@cundij) April 16, 2014
Many students argued that the focus should be on the workers, not the cost of the clothing.
— Emma (@18eole) April 17, 2014
— Nora Wijmans (@nwijmans) April 14, 2014
— Christopher Lu (@chrisslu98) April 18, 2014
Students also pointed to the importance of creating more regulations in the clothing factories.
— Mia Kato (@mia_kato84) April 18, 2014
— Our Beach Gallery (@CleanPacificLA) April 16, 2014
Where was your shirt made?
Several students tweeted a picture of a clothing label to show where the item was made.
— Sunni Harris (@SunniH0928) April 15, 2014
— Daniel Cagle (@18dcagMV) April 17, 2014
— Amy Schmeltz (@AmySchmeltz) April 15, 2014
Also, check out these great Tour Builder maps produced by students from Texas that tracks where their clothes were made.
— Carlos Ramos (@Carlos_Ramos_SC) April 18, 2014
— Michelle Stukey (@michelle_stukey) April 18, 2014