Bangladesh: a penal colony like Cayenne serving various Multinationals in the Fashion System
by Modem – Posted November 14 2023
© Modem

Bangladesh - 12 November 2023, 12.15pm, another textile worker was killed while demanding better wages.

It is the fourth death in ten days of brutally repressed protests.
Our affection to their families and loved ones.

It is the unacceptable price that they have paid for demanding their rights without submitting to forced labour imposed by Sheikh Hasina, the Bangladeshi premier.

More than 4,000,000 Bangladeshi textile workers, mostly women, have always received the lowest wages in the world.
This wages is currently also reduced by the 10%in October 2023 cause the inflation and the devaluation of the taka in relation to the US dollar (30% from the beginning of 2023).

Bangladesh's 3,500 garment factories account for about 85% of the country's $55 billion annual exports and supply several multinationals in the fashion system. These companies are still being held responsible for the current disastrous condition in which all those who have allowed and continue to allow these companies to produce significant benefits and financial gains survive.

We consider that brands that have always declared their intention to committed towards a living wage - such as Asos, Uniqlo, H&M, C&A, M&S, Aldi and Next - are particularly responsible for this situation” said Bogu Gojdz, spokesperson for Clean Clothes Campaign, the based in the Netherlands which defends the rights of workers in the textile sector.

10 years after the Rana Plaza tragedy, the direct involvement of several multinational fashion corporations, clients of the Bangladeshi textile industry, emerges again.

On 24 April 2013 in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, Rana Plaza, an eight-storey building occupied by six textile companies, collapsed. 1,138 people died and 2,000 were injured.

A tragedy that made us realise the great responsibility of these multinationals. One of the poorest countries in the world, transformed by these western companies into a penal colony like Cayenne was.

It is well known and established that the textile production system functional to their interests had been created in the absence of rules on production conditions. A system maintained expressly to avoid having to consider not only the issue of wages, but also that of minimum safety standards that could guarantee the physical safety of those working in the textile factories.

The Rana Plaza tragedy was not an isolated case.
Between 2009 and 2013, in Bangladesh alone, 579 people died due to fires or accidents in textile factories.

It is certainly important that our professional sector collectively expresses outrage at the 'modus operandi' of these companies. But our individual conscience has value if it becomes collective heritage.

Committing ourselves to promoting and disseminating the brands of designers who, in their aesthetic research and the realisation of their collections, make choices that are consistent with shared general concerns, becomes a collective heritage.

It allows also fashion to be a vector of values that participate in the construction of a world in which the Human and Nature rights are reflected together.

The sector in which we do our activity evolves due to the values it represents and the constructive commercial dynamics it establishes, despite the difficulty, being able only to grow and consolidate, will also favor the more rapid extinction of these several multinationals iniquities.

The varius iniquie's Multinational Companies, that develop within the Fashion System, not least because of the damage they constantly produce, cannot represent the future.

Ezio Barbaro

Publisher of Modem and Modemonline

© Modem