1. "Two Years after World's Worst Garment Factory Disaster, Bangladesh Struggles to Make Things Right." Washington Post. The Washington Post, n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.
In the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, the Alif Embroidery Village is still recovering from one of the most devastating factory disasters in history in the wake of its two year anniversary. On April 23, 2013, Rana Plaza, “an eight story structure, collapsed killing 1,100 and injuring 2,500.” The village itself produces clothing for international brands like H&M, Gap, Nike, and Disney, leaving a dependency on Westernized companies. The Bangladeshi garment industry accounts for 80% of the country’s exports each year and employs over 4.4 million workers.
The problem is severe and the Bangladeshi government is looking for answers. However, should the responsibility be put on the government or the brands themselves? Over the past couple of years, the emergence of government factory inspectors has increased. Pressure on the legislature to pass new labor laws and factory condition laws has had some successes also. Along with inspecting debilitating facilities comes a stark economic cost, around “$1.5 million in repairs and upgrades,” for the Alif complex, with fire doors costing “$2,000 a pair, and hydrant pumps at $60,000 each.” Though inspite of the large cost, heads of the embroidery industry in Bangladesh believe that these costly repairs are an investment and will ultimately provide further incentive for companies to invest.
By March 23 of this year, 2,000 inspected factories were closed down due to them being at risk of endangering factory workers, an unfortunate cost to increased security. With around “80% of the factory workforce as women,” government leaders are afraid that with the closing of garment buildings will put many women out of jobs. The predicament is finding the funding to repair facilities while continuously employing thousands who depend on the Bangladeshi garment industry to survive.