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Host: Scott LaMar

RST: Bangladesh clothing factory collapse prompts action

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jun 26, 2013 3:20 PM

Radio Smart Talk for Thursday, June 27:

clothes on rack 300 x 170.jpg

Americans are used to buying relatively inexpensive casual clothing at well-known and popular chain stores.  Usually, it's the style that attracts the buyer, but a low or what the customer considers a reasonable price, cements the deal.

Most consumers didn't think about where the clothing was manufactured or who made it.

Many still don't but the collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh last April that killed more than eleven hundred people caused others to take notice.

Workers were ordered back into the building even after cracks were noticed in a ceiling before the Rana Plaza tragedy.

Thursday's Radio Smart Talk features Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Bob Casey, who is one of nine senators who called on President Obama to pressure Bangladesh to support safer working conditions.  Also appearing will be Douglas Dirks, Public Relations manager of Ten Thousand Villages, a fair trade advocate and Gordon Zook, the country representative for Mennonite Central Committee in Bangladesh.

Fair Trade Clothing.jpg

Douglas Dirks-Ten Thousand Villages and Gordon Zook-Mennonite Central Committee

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-06-27 08:38

    Jeff writes--

    If we discover our clothing is from places like Bangladesh and choose to boycot products with those origin tags, would we not be displacing workers there do to lack of demand? Would that be an equally bad result?

    Be the change you want to see in the world. ~Mahatma Gandhi

  • lisa.koogle img 2013-06-27 08:42

    Great topic this morning! This issue is important, but not well understood. I would recommend people read "Fugitive Denim: A moving story of people and pants in the borderless world of global trade" by Rachel Louise Snyder. Snyder helps to illuminate just how complicated the world of global trade - particularly with respect to textiles and clothing - can be. You suggest that we look at the label of our clothing, but the labels tells only a small part of the story. In the case of jeans, cotton may be grown in one country, it may be woven into fabric in another country, cut in another, sewn in yet another and then finish work (buttons, etc.) may be added in a final country. We need to better educate ourselves, but it won't be easy because of the nature of the industry!

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