Two weeks into the challenge and although I haven’t struggled too much so far with wearing only 6 items, tomorrow I am going away for a couple of days and have realised that I will have to wear the same outfit for both evenings. This will be a novelty as the norm would be to have two different outfits but if I can do this during the day I am sure that I can do it during the evening. And it’s not as though anyone else will notice or be bothered!
As always, I have been thinking about the reason for the 6 items challenge, to raise money for the work of Labour behind the Label, campaigning for the rights of garment workers.
At the end of last month there was yet another fire in Dhaka Bangladesh, which cost the lives of seven more women garment workers. Four of them were only seventeen years old.
Activists managed to enter the ruins of “Smart Exports” and found labels linking major European retailers to this latest tragedy: Bershka and Lefties, both of which belong to Inditex, owner of the well-known Zara brand and the world’s largest clothing retailer; UK brand New Look, KIK Okay, and Scott and Fox, and Solo Invest. The refusal of these brands to address the safety issues that caused previous factory fires leaves them directly responsible for yet another tragic loss of life.
KIK was sourcing from Tazreen fashions where 112 workers died in a fire just over 2 months ago, and the same KIK label was also found at at the Ali Enterprises factory (Pakistan), where nearly 300 workers burned to death last September. Inditex and Solo Invest also both sourced from the notorious Spectrum factory where 64 workers were killed in 2005.
“Workers continue to die, and brands continue to waste time and make up excuses instead of taking action. KIK still has not paid the Tazreen Fashions victims their compensation, and they lack medical care. Inditex was asked to sign the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement over a year ago. Meanwhile they all continue to expand their production in Bangladesh, knowing full well that the buildings are unsafe” says Ineke Zeldenrust from the Clean Clothes Campaign.
Labour Behind the Label continues to fight for an independent and transparent investigation into the causes of the fires, for full and fair compensation to be paid to the victims and their families and importantly concrete action from all parties involved to end this sad and pointless loss of life.
These deaths could and should have been avoided. This is inhumane and the garment workers deserve to be treated fairly, working in safe conditions and receiving a fair wage.
A big thank you to those who have donated to Labour behind the Label already and if you feel that you are able to make a small contribution towards the work please go to my fundraising page at http://www.everydayhero.co.uk/julie_morton.