This week The Syndicate is part of Fashion Revolution Week which is held annually from April 20th – 24th. This is to remember the 1138 people mostly garment workers of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh who were killed on 24 April 2013 when the plaza collapsed. The Rana Plaza was eight stories high which housed a bank, shops and five garment factories who serviced Benetton, Bonmarche, Cato Fashions, The Children’s Place, El Corte Ingles, Joe Fresh, Kik, Mango, Matalan and Primark. (: E Chan - British Vogue 2021)
How did this happen?
Large structural crackers were discovered in the building on 23 April. The shops, bank and lower floors immediately closed after officials ordered an evacuation, however the deadline-conscious factory garment owners on the upper floors ordered 3500 garment workers back to their sewing machines threatening them with losing their jobs if they objected. On 24 April when the workers arrived, hours later and in just 90 seconds the entire building collapsed. 1138 including rescue workers were killed. 2600 workers survived however most sustained life injuries, some only able to be rescued by amputation.
Why did the garment workers return to work?
Often, desperate poor people work in dangerous conditions especially for large well-known companies which gives then a sense of stability. However, when disaster strikes these businesses try to distance themselves and believe they can do this quickly because these people are powerless.
What has happened since 2013
Since then many of the companies linked to Rana Plaza came forward to pay compensation except Benetton who initially tried to distance their business, however there was irrefutable evidence they were connected and after 2 years acknowledged their involvement and paid $1.1m into the Rana Plaza Trust fund. Because of how Benetton managed this crisis there was a call for great transparency in supply chains in the Fashion industry. The Accord for Fire and Building Safety was also created. https://bangladeshaccord.org/ and now more factories through out the world have created their own Fire and Building safety agreements with factory owners.
Fashion Revolution Week
Fashion Revolution Week through out the world started with teams in 91 countries.
Since Fashion Revolution started, people from all over the world have used their voice and their power to tell brands that things must change. And it’s working. The industry is starting to change. More brands are being open about where their clothes are made. More manufacturers are making their factories safer. More producers are being seen and heard.
But the story is far from over. We are only just getting started. We can’t stop until every garment worker who makes the clothes we love is seen, heard, paid properly and working in safe conditions. Your voice does make a difference.
We need to make this Fashion Revolution Week bigger and bolder than ever before. Ask brands #whomademyclothes? And for 2020 this year we are highlighting textiles and fabrics with #whatsinmyclothes?
The Syndicate team will demonstrate through this week how we will commerate this special week.
With 15 years of experience between us, we are a team of like minded professionals working with inspirational creatives who will push the envelope in pursuit of creative excellence. Our first blog will be posted January, 2019.