In light of the extensive reporting on the devastating collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh 4 years ago, which lead to 1138 deaths and over 2,000 injured, we must be aware of the fact that mass-produced low-cost production in the textile industry is humanly contemptuous. Since then, there have been numerous political announcements to achieve a significant improvement in working conditions by putting more pressure on the corresponding Western contractors and the governments of the producing countries. NGOs such as the International Justice Mission or Public Eye provide information on modern slavery and strive for worldwide respect for human rights, better working conditions and fair wages. Public Eye points out that even the label “made in Europe” does not necessarily mean that the article was produced under better conditions than in Asia. For example, there is an alarming degree of exploitation in the shoe production industry of Southern and Eastern Europe.
After the Rana Plaza tragedy in May 2014, the German Foreign Aid Minister Dr. Gerd Müller convened a round table with members of the textile industry, trade, trade unions and civil society. The Bündnis für nachhaltige Textilien (Alliance for Sustainable Textiles) was developed on 16 October 2014 with the aim of improving the textile production conditions. Bangladesh also saw its first breakthrough in 2013 when the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) initiative signed the world’s first building rights agreement, the “Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.” At the mournful 4th anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse, people in power claimed that such an incident could not occur again with the new standards.
However, more safety in the workplace is one thing — in terms of decent working hours and fair pay, a lot still needs to change. And the mills of politics and economy grind very slowly … especially when it leads to higher costs. In our globalized world, the issue of human trafficking and industrial exploitation affects us all. That is why we need as many people as possible to contribute to a change in the textile industry.
Many small and big steps are needed — and everyone can help us! Whether you want to have shirts printed for your school, company or church, Made in Freedom is the perfect partner for you! By purchasing sustainable and fair products from our partners Freeset in India, you are making an important contribution so that women can live and work in freedom and dignity.
You probably already have several good ideas in mind, which we will gladly implement with you. You can leave our contact information or find our number here.