People Tree has been working with garment factory workers to support their campaign for a living wage and better conditions for 12 years now. Recently UK journalist, Liz Jones, travelled to interview them in their homes and see the conditions they work in, in the garment factories.
These 3 million people – mostly women – generate over 70% of the national earnings of Bangladesh. It’s like ‘Slum Dog Millionaire’ but ADD the heat and the smell. We have to realise we all have a part in keeping these people poor if we’re not part of the solution: helping them get a better deal, putting pressure on fashion companies, by not buying fast fashion without considering the real human cost.
People Tree founder, Safia Minney, had taken Liz Jones out 2 years ago to see how Fair Trade fashion could empower women and build sustainable communities. So when they both heard the news that garment factory workers are protesting for a living wage and why they need a better deal so urgently (a trebling of the minimum wage from £16 to under £50 a month) Liz and Safia decided to visit Dhaka a second time to see why workers were becoming so desperate.
On her this trip to Dhaka, Jones remarked, “This is the side of the business the big brands do not want you to see.” She continues, below.
The conditions the garment workers live in has to be seen to be believed; Safia introduced me to the tireless people who run the union, and who acted as my translators and guide. We drove past the doors of the factories, but to be honest we were too scared to get out of the vehicle because of the baton-wielding guards who stood, menacingly, frisking every worker who went in and came out.
Demand Humanity in Fashion and help Bangladeshi garment workers win their fight for an increase in the minimum wage.
The liveeco team