Zandra Rhodes: weaving a new society

The country is utterly reliant on the ready-made-garment (RMG) industry, which provides 80% of the GDP. Some Western brands talk about production there as if they are NGOs, producing much-needed jobs and emancipating women. But we’re starting to see it’s more complicated than that. The fast-fashion system cannot guarantee decent conditions and fair wages. A stark example of this can be seen as we drive north out of Dhaka to the Savar district. This area once housed the Rana Plaza complex, which collapsed on 24 April 2013, killing 1,133 people. In Savar it’s business as usual. Scores of buildings that look like apartment blocks but are actually garment facilities are working non-stop to produce clothes for the Western market.

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