Is Our Addiction to Fast Fashion Just Another Form of Terrorism?
By Amy DuFault / ecouterre.com

As the death toll in the Rana Plaza building collapse outside the Bangladesh capital of Dhaka climbs past 400, the kinship between our purchasing decisions and the loss of life is becoming harder to ignore. This has been the deadliest industrial disaster to hit the beleaguered South Asian nation, resulting in three times the number of fatalities as the devastating Tazreen Fashions fire a mere five months ago. Despite all the hair-rending and chest-thumping back in November, very little has changed about our so-called “race to the bottom” for cheaper, trendier clothes. History keeps repeating itself, all for a $9.99 dress that makes us feel better about ourselves and our place in life. Make that $9.99 plus 446 human lives in this past month alone. Take that, world.

THE NEW TERRORISM

What’s that you say? Not everyone has the means to shop indie designers? Gap, H&M, Forever 21, and Joe Fresh (a brand that outsourced to one of the plaza’s five garment factories, by the by) are all you can afford?

Let’s not kid ourselves—we don’t need so many new things all the time. At least, not at the rate at which we’ve been consuming. Most of that stuff we don’t even wear, according to pollsters.

In fact, we’re going to make an outrageous statement. Mindless shopping is the new terrorism.

Hyperbole, much? We have 446 reasons why it isn’t. The apparel brands and retailers that pressure these factories to meet their production targets at rock-bottom prices, while refusing to pay for fire and building-safety improvements, shoulder much of the blame, that is true.

But we and our insatiable appetites for low-cost “looks”? We’re the fuel that drives that infernal machine.

Fashion is moving so fast even tragedies like Tazreen and Rana Plaza are picking up speed.

Bangladesh, Dhaka, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, workers rights, human rights, sweatshops, sweatshop labor, sweatshop workers, forced labor, Primark, Mango, Tazreen Fashions, Rana Plaza, Walmart, C&A, Primark, KiK, Mango, The Children's Place, Dress Barn, Joe Fresh, Benetton, fast fashion

VICIOUS CYCLE

March 25 marked the 102nd anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire that claimed the lives of 146 mostly young women in New York City. That disaster changed the course of labor laws in the United States. But Bangladesh, along with neighboring Pakistan, has not been so lucky.

Eight years after the collapse of the Spectrum garment factory killed 64 and injured 80 others—illegally built floors, much like at Rana Plaza, were to blame—Western companies are still refusing to sign the Bangladesh Fire Building and Safety Agreement, developed by key labor stakeholders in Bangladesh and abroad, that would require independent building inspections, worker-rights training, public accountability, and a long-overdue review of the country’s safety standards.

Self-policing by corporate social-responsibility programs, by and large, aren’t working.

“Accountability is frequently lost in the ‘CSR supply chain,’” noted a recent report from the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations. “And where local monitors have actually sided with workers against employer exploitation, they too have become ignored in order to spare big-name household brands embarrassment.”

So yeah, nobody likes to think of themselves as terrorists. But before you lash out and cry foul (or worse), just give yourself a few days and let that thought simmer.

When we allow ourselves to be dazzled by the promise of bargain-price glamour, when we opt for disposable Frankenfabrics made by people who suffer from fits of fainting because 18 cents an hour doesn’t buy much food, when we’re subsidizing the very companies whose clothing labels and purchase orders were found in the rubble, we’re just as complicit.

We may not be setting fires to these factories ourselves, but we might as well be the ones holding the match.

3.5 ·
1
What's Next
Trending Today
All the News Is Fake!
3 min · 6,298 views today · Jonathan Pie finds nothing new in the idea of fake news.
Why People Cling to Old Beliefs
1 min · 6,100 views today · Cognitive psychologist and neuroscientist at McGill University, Daniel Levitin, explains why people can be so stubborn when it comes to false beliefs. This behavior is...
How Mindfulness Empowers Us
2 min · 4,735 views today · Many traditions speak of the opposing forces within us, vying for our attention. Native American stories speak of two wolves, the angry wolf and the loving wolf, who both live...
Sky Roosevelt-Morris: The Secret of Indigenous Resiliency
2 min · 4,095 views today · Activist Sky Roosevelt-Morris is of the Shawnee and White Mountain Apache Nations. She is a member of the Leadership Council of the American Indian Movement of Colorado. In...
How Romanticism Ruined Love
5 min · 3,923 views today · The set of ideas we can call Romanticism is responsible for making our relationships extremely difficult. We shouldn’t give up on love; we should just recognize that it’s more...
Veterans at Standing Rock Ask Forgiveness for War Crimes Against Tribal Nations
Jen Hayden · 3,692 views today · Jon Eagle Sr., Tribal Historic Preservation Officer at Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has reported something wholly unexpected happened at the Standing Rock Reservation today. The...
Dakota Access Pipeline Permit Denied
Nika Knight · 3,555 views today · 'For the first time in Native American history, they heard our voices.'
This is an Anthem for Our Times
6 min · 3,245 views today · I think the world deserves to see the truth about #NoDAPL I tried my best to portray what I felt at camp, I felt LOVE. Love for all people, all living things, Mother Earth...
Australian Government Promotes Crap with Adani Carmichael Coal Mine
2 min · 3,225 views today · The Australian Government just released this advert about the proposed Carmichael Coal Mine and it's surprisingly honest and informative. 6 WAYS YOU CAN HELP STOP CCRAP: 1...
13 Crises That We All Must Face
George Monbiot · 2,399 views today · We face (at least) 13 major crises, some of which are immediate. It’s time for some hard thinking about how we confront them.
The Venus Project by Jacque Fresco
4 min · 2,208 views today · For more information visit the official web site: thevenusproject.com Facebook: facebook.com/TheVenusProjectGlobal Music: Salomon Ligthelm - Close Horizonz Hanz Zimmer ...
After Historic Protests, Army Corps of Engineers Blocks Current Route of the Dakota Access Pipeline
3 min · 2,205 views today · The $4 billion dollar project could still be approved by President-elect Donald Trump who is heavily invested in the pipeline. Help support The Real News by making a donation...
The Numbers That Tell the Story of the Standing Rock Sioux's Victory
Tracy Loeffelholz Dunn · 2,185 views today · The Army Corps announced Sunday that the Dakota Access pipeline will be rerouted. Here are the numbers that show what lies ahead.
Bikini Was Just the Beginning, Bombs Still Threaten the Islanders
John Pilger · 2,104 views today · I was recently in the Marshall Islands, which lie in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, north of Australia and south of Hawaii. Whenever I tell people where I have been, they...
Solar is Already Producing More Energy Than Oil, Says Major Scientific Review
Nafeez Ahmed · 2,038 views today · And is twice as powerful than previously thought
10 Practical Tools for Building a Resilient Local Economy
Environmental Change Makers · 1,721 views today · The economy is changing. Dramatically. Coping with these changes means changing the way we do things. The path of the future involves root level, radical changes. Things we...
The Trouble With Equality: Feminism and the Forgotten Places of Power
Adebayo Akomolafe · 1,531 views today · "...Patriarchy is not the rule of men over women, it's the rule of the binary - the insistence that there really are sides, and that each is a pre-existing category unto...
Post-Brexit Visions of The Possible: It's Time to Imagine a New European Community
Martin Winiecki · 1,270 views today · We live in the beginning phase of a global revolution which will turn societal conditions upside down. We cannot stop this transformation, but we can influence where it will...
The Power Principle: Corporate Empire and the Rise of the National Security State (2012)
95 min · 1,266 views today · "A gripping, deeply informative account of the plunder, hypocrisy, and mass violence of plutocracy and empire; insightful, historically grounded and highly relevant to the...
Mary Lyons Describes 'The We'
29 min · 1,255 views today · Beautiful. Listen to this. 
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Is Our Addiction to Fast Fashion Just Another Form of Terrorism?