The collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory complex in Bangladesh on April 24 continues to make headlines. One of the "worst industrial accidents in the world" is now known to have killed at least 1,127 people.
The event has roiled Bangladesh. There have been worker protests, a number of other factories have been closed at least temporarily, and the owner of Rana Plaza was arrested and faces murder charges.
Those poor labor conditions within Bangladesh’s enormous garment industry have had consequences around the globe. Rana Plaza workers helped supply major European and North American chains, and there’s increased pressure on these companies to help improve safety standards in the global garment industry. Unfortunately, not everyone is getting with the program.
And many consumers, including me, have started to take a hard look at those innocent-looking outfits hanging in our closets or stuffed in our drawers. What, exactly, are we buying into?
Now I’d like to be able to give myself a pat on the back when it comes to sustainable or ethical fashion. After all, I buy the majority of my clothes at thrift or secondhand stores.