When the Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh collapsed 10 years ago this month, unions called it a “mass industrial homicide.” The accident killed at least 1,132 people and injured more than 2,500.

The building housed multiple garment factories that supplied Western brands including Primark and Walmart, exposing customers to the terrible conditions under which fast fashion has thrived. And while initiatives since then have attempted to address the problems that lead to this terrible tragedy, conditions for many garment workers have not improved.

Muhammad Azizul Islam, a University of Aberdeen expert in sustainability accounting and transparency, explains where these initiatives have gone wrong, as well as the impacts of COVID-19 and inflation on the industry. He calls for a watchdog to investigate and punish companies that aren’t doing right by their workers.

This podcast from The Conversation U.S. also discusses how little has changed for workers in the industry – a decade later, garment workers remain “at the bottom of the global production chain.”

And academics from New Zealand and the U.S. have also written for The Conversation this week about how a global addiction to fast fashion continues to cause corners to be cut in the industry.

Pauline McCallion

Senior Business Editor, The Conversation UK

Rana Plaza: Ten years after the Bangladesh factory collapse, we are no closer to fixing modern slavery

Muhammad Azizul Islam, University of Aberdeen

At least 1,132 workers died when the Rana building collapsed in Bangladesh, while several thousand more were injured.

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