This post has been a long time coming. I decided to write it on April 24th, 2013, but I didn’t know how to write it; all I knew was I needed to change the way I thought about fashion in a big way, and fast.
April 24th was the day that Rana Plaza, a clothing factory in Bangladesh, collapsed, killing over 1,000 people. The building was not designed or certified to be used as a factory, and even though the workers — the vast majority of whom were women — had reported massive cracks forming in the ceiling the day before the collapse, their supervisors told them they would be fired if they skipped work. So they returned to Rana Plaza to sew cheap dresses and tops that would be sold by companies such as Mango and Walmart, and they died.
One of my Facebook friends summed it up in nine words: “America, your addiction to cheap T-shirts is killing people.”
As a clothes hoarder, fashion writer, frequent shopper, and feminist, I felt an intense wave of guilt in the wake of this tragedy. Keep reading »