Deadly Fire in Bangladesh Garment Factory: Boycott clothes Made in Bangladesh #humanrights

One hundred and twelve people dead. Most died jumping from upper stories as the ground floor was engulfed in flames. There were no external fire escapes. The ABC news article I read says that Bangladesh has some of the worst working conditions in the world.

The factory was making American brands of clothing, for Wal-Mart, Sears, and other retailers.

I don’t buy many clothes, but I will not be buying Made in Bangladesh clothes any more.

I suppose one could argue that not buying clothes made in Bangladesh makes life harder for Bangladeshi workers, but I can’t see how it could be worse than the status quo — isn’t it better not to have a job, than to have one that kills you, literally?

And perhaps boycotting clothes made in Bangladesh will make working conditions better there?

I don’t know, but I do know that I cannot countenance buying clothes made under conditions described in the article.

What do you think? Will a boycott help improve working conditions in Bangladesh? Will you be boycotting clothes made in Bangladesh? Tell me in the comments, please.

Leave a comment


  1. Marsha NIPPER

     /  November 26, 2012

    Film For Thought had a showing last year of ‘The Triangle Fire’, which was about a garment factory fire in New York in 1911. I screened the film (put out by PBS and available on NetFlix) just after a similar fire in Bangladesh exactly 100 years later. The underlying economic conditions that created the tragedies are so similar, that The Jewish Daily Forward published an excellent analysis. I am emailing the articles to you. You might want to excerpt from it or forward the link. Obviously conditions there have not improved. This takes it from the realm of tragedy to criminal behavior. I’d call it mass murder in pursuit of unholy profit. – Marsha

    • Yes — I thought of the Triangle Fire when I read about this fire. Thanks for the links. If I find them useful, I will update the post.

  2. While Bangladesh needs a lot of reform, boycotting the few industries they have there is not a good answer.

    • Then what would you suggest? I cannot in good conscience knowledgeably buy clothes that are made by people working in inhumane conditions.

  3. Here’s the sad news: much of Bangladesh is inhumane conditions. Boycotting their industries just makes them jobless too. Unfortunately, this factory fire goes well above and beyond the scope of a blog comment. Sweat shops are the least of their problems. Foreign aid doesn’t make it past their politicians to even reach these people, and large corporations such as the ones who use these factories will just pick up and move somewhere else. There’s no shortage of third world countries. For people living in the slums, this is a better option than watching their children starve to death. I by no means approve of any of this, at all. In fact, it’s sickening. But what makes sense for our reality is not necessarily logical for theirs. Remember, there are no social services available to them. No food stamps, no section 8 housing. You pull their jobs, they lose what they do have. So what do I suggest? Well, that is the million dollar question, because many countries have been trying to figure it out for a while and haven’t concluded anything.


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