Triangle Shirtwaist Factory: this is a name and significant date I hope you already know.
New York factory that caught fire, burned and killed 129 people that day in 1911. Not only was the building in flames but doors were locked and hoses kept to extinguish the blaze, valves rusted shut (no worry, the owners escaped with their lives.) The date is infamous, printed in history books to nerver forget the loss of our own but most importantly it sparked labor reform that continues to effect job affairs in the US today.
That was 129 unnecessary deaths.
What if it’d been 1,135 dead? What if it happened now? What if it already did?
And no reform followed? (If it weren’t our people, but our product would it matter? It should.)
Disturbing, right? Enough questions. In 2013 manufacturer of American clothing was undergoing production in Bangladesh, India when the factory collapsed. Not only did 1,135 die that day, another couple thousand were injured. Insane just years past the date and some are hearing of this for the very first time. I’m not shaming you for that – I merely found out myself, upset that I’d never before learned of it’s happening.
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory: you might know.
Rana Plaza: I’m going to take an educated guess and say you don’t. But we all should – nearly 8x as many people died that day in 2013.
No laws revised. Certainly no reform. No history significantly shifted (unlike Triangle Shirtwaist with almost 1/8 the casualties). Why’d absolutely nothing stop, change? People continue to be taken by this industry, often in factories in Bangladesh running so poorly even today, by means of the American dollar (or lack there of). Go ahead, do a Google search right now and I’ll wait – there was a factory fire killing 31 innocent lives not seven months ago, in September of 2016. This mass loss of life is a goddamn catastrophe barely reprimanded.
Recognize there is an issue (Step one), next…
What can you do? I’m sure most would simply feel disenfranchised and resume life untouched by this, the people in India are not so lucky. Don’t buy into it. Be a conscious consumer: think about where your clothes come from, maybe research it first (because I’m sure you’d feel uncomfortable, at the very least, knowing someone died making your t-shirt). Acknowledge that hands touched the clothing on your back, hand’s whom your garment wouldn’t come into creation without. Everything you buy has a story in it’s process of coming to be. Every time you buy, you make a decision to support a company and their values with the monetary value of your dollar; you then own those purchased values, taking them into your home even. Boycotting, done by our ancestors, is concept still secure and relevant. Learn from the past – you think it’s not yours but it is – since it’s the only way to move forward.
How’d I get caught in all this? I watched a movie – I know sounds laughable or foolish but I’m really only in the offset of all this. My words might mean nothing to you but if you do anything at all watch The True Cost by director, Andrew Morgan. It might alter you some real way, positively.
About the images: none of the photos used are my own but merely a product of google search.