On 23rd April 2013, cracks appeared in Rana Plaza building, shaking the structure enough that many workers fled. An engineer who had been called to inspect the structure warned that it was unsafe, yet the owner and the factory bosses discounted any concerns and ordered their workers into the building the next morning followed by the collapse of the structure.
The owner constructed upper floors to house garment factories employing several thousand workers, large power generators placed on these upper floors because of regular power failures, would shake the poorly constructed building whenever they were switched on.
The collapse of the Rana Plaza has focused global attention on unsafe conditions in the garment industry in Bangladesh, which is the world’s second-leading exporter of clothing. Bangladesh has more than 5,000 garment factories, handling orders for nearly all the world’s top brands by delivering lower costs, in part by having the lowest wages in the world for garment workers.
The Rana Plaza incident is an unfortunate example of what drives business decisions. Many fashion houses moved their production activities to developing countries characterized by the low cost of labor, and very often, child labor and modern slavery.
This was done with the goal of reducing the cost of their products to become more competitive in the market. This is an example of unsustainability of an entire industry and now there is a lot of pressure to basically review what is happening worldwide and to change these types of business models that are not sustainable anymore.
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