Another fab head-to-toe look thanks to Primark. I learned so much from partnering with this amazing company. If you didn’t know, their prices are insanely low (see the first Primark OOTD post here). I wanted to learn about more about Primark and how they continue to offer such low prices. But first, a little backstory.
I was born & raised in Bangladesh. I moved to America in 2000 with my entire family. Almost 4 years ago, I went back to visit Bangladesh. My first impression when I first visited my country after so many years was a little overwhelming. I noticed more buildings and more people. The city was overpopulated and filled with garment factories. Bangladesh is the world’s second-largest garment exporter. The labor there is extremely cheap, which is why more and more companies are moving their production from China to Bangladesh. The Bangladeshi garment industry employs around 4 million people, about 90 percent are women.
Many of you have probably seen the news or heard the tragic story about the Rana Plaza building that collapsed in Bangladesh in 2013. After the incident, many wanted to boycott “Made in Bangladesh” clothing, which is completely understandable. But you have to realize that boycotting usually does more harm than good. Boycotting means all those people in the city will be out of a job.
But, how can we help? As consumers we have to push companies to create better working conditions for the people in the garment industry. To encourage better working conditions, we have to support companies that supports the garment workers.
Primark has announced the start of a new partnership with the Department for International Development (DFID) to improve working conditions for garment workers in developing markets (read more here). DFID is working towards improving the lives of many girls and women by providing education to maternal, child health, personal safety, security to economic and political empowerment. Paul Lister, responsible for Primark’s Ethical Trading Team, said “At Primark, we are committed to ensuring that the people who make our products work in good conditions, are treated properly and paid a fair wage. That’s why we now have more than 60 people working for our Ethical Trade Team across our supply chain to ensure our high standards are met.”
Primark also conducts structural surveys to the highest standards by an expert team of engineers. Primark is a signatory to “The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh” an agreement between almost 200 brands, companies, international and local trade unions and NGOs working towards sustainable improvements to working conditions in the Bangladesh Garment Industry.
Now let’s go back to the Rana Plaza tragedy. The building that collapsed housed several factories, one of which produced Primark clothing. Primark has stepped up and provided
over $14 million in aid and compensation payments to victims and their families and will continue to support those who need help.
I honestly never looked at the “actual cost” of clothing. I always thought it was normal for us to wear affordable clothing that were made in Bangladesh or China. Many designer labels are also getting their garements made in Bangladesh (just check the label next time).
I know the people of Bangladesh, they are some of the most hard working people you will ever meet. They love to work and provide for their families. Reading about Primark’s initiative makes me appreciate the clothing I wear made by my people so much more.
Bangladesh is a beautiful country with beautiful people. I applaud Primark for all their incredible initiatives to better the lives of the garment workers.
Thank you Primark.
Plaid Shirt, Boyfriend Jeans, Strappy Chunky Heels & Over the Shoulder Bag c/0 Primark
Photos by Janel Kilnisan