Monday, 29 April 2013

The bag of death

Can we really blame Primark for the death toll of Bangladesh factory workers of over 350? This is the current total and after 5 days the search for survivors has ended. Now it is a matter of finding bodies.

The facts are the owner of the factory got greedy and added 3 floors to a building that should only have been 5 storeys high. The workers are paid very low wages and the economy is dependant on producing garments for the Western economies.

It wasn't only Primark whose goods were being made there, Mango was another retailer and also a Canadian high st brand. Yet Primark is the go to place for really cheap clothing.

This really cheap clothing is keeping people in poverty, it is now causing them to die and it is about time we stopped shopping like this. From henceforth the Primark bag is the 'bag of death'.



  1. Hear, hear. Cheap clothing has to be paid for. Just not by the people buying it, I'm afraid.

  2. Just like Tesco etc re the horse meat scandal - retailers are duty bound to check their supply lines. And most important of all - not continually beating these suppliers down on prices so that they are sadly forced to make cuts in the health and safety of their workers to fulfil contracts from all powerful first world buyers.

    We should all be ashamed. Check the care label of any clothing you own/have recently purchased and read where it was made. I think you will be surprised, and saddened.

  3. It's a difficult one in my opinion as these people do depend on orders and jobs in places like this for their livelihood but I believe there should be a wage structure in place, like our minimum wage but that is down to the country's government and powerful retailers shouldn't be beating the prices down. I have only ever bought a clutch bag from Primark.

  4. We certainly can blame Primark, they should be regularly checking their factories and the workers' conditions not turning a blind eye and raking in the profits. Shame on them.
    Oxfam do say that by boycotting the likes of Primark then you're depriving these poor workers from a living so it's a tough one. I doubt whether the shopping-addicted masses will pay much heed to the plight of the Bangladeshi garment workers when they're tempted by a cheap frock. xxx

    1. vix brings up a very good point. my next door neighbor who was born and raised in china and now teaches international trade at our local university tells me that without us buying from china the people there would be far worse off than they are now. it's a complicated situation that needs the worlds attention.

    2. I know but we need to ensure better working conditions and pay for all.

  5. And let's not forget that manufacturing only shipped out to India and China because they could not continue treating their own home-grown garment workers like shite any more.

    Powerful retailers have always beaten the price down. My Auntie used to do piecework and sample garments for a very upmarket coat manufacturer and was paid bugger-all for working in an un-unionised bloody slum building in the north of England.

    We should also be pointing our fingers at some of the other high street shops - not just Primark. Just a quick look at any clothing label will tell all - and often Made in the UK means assembled in the UK.

    I suspect the planning finangling in India may end up to be similar to that which caused the collapsing schools in China ...

    And if we're boycotting garment manufacturers, we should maybe be abandoning the computing/mobile telephony produced in sweatshops too

  6. The sad thing is that perhaps a high number of Primark customers will probably not make a connection between the store, cheap production of clothes and the Factory tragedy. Like the horsemeat scandal, we only learn of these kind of scandals when its too late. Let's hope that this is a lesson learned and working conditions improve for those poor people.

  7. There is no such thing as a €5 handbag. Somebody pays, in this case it was with their life.

  8. I don't think we can put the blame on just the likes of Primark that use these sweatshops. Big high street brands like Zara have used them in the past. And I'm sure there are many more. People (not all, I'm aware) buy from Primark because that's what they can afford.

    We can't blame the collapse of a building on cheap labour, it collapsed because of that greedy factory owner and the failing of building regulation checks.

    On the flip side,I know some retailers have been caught out, unaware that their products are made in sweatshops because their suppliers end up contracting these things out. But if they value their reputation they should take responsibility and check their suppliers and suppliers' contractors have the same work ethics and values as they do.

    K x

    1. I think Primark are known for their practices and yes the factory owner was greedy but this is because margins and profits are all anyone cares about.
      Of course most shops are at fault even the designer brands as well in some cases!


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