- Living on 38 euros a month
- Modern slavery
- Unsafe working conditions
- Unhealthy working conditions
- Child labor
On the morning of April 24th of 2013, an eight-story commercial building named Rana Plaza collapsed. There was a power outage, and diesel generators on the top floor were started. The building collapsed at about 08:57 am BST, leaving only the ground floor intact.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association's President confirmed that 3,122 workers were in the building at the time of the collapse.
The search for the dead ended on May 13th with a death toll of 1,134. Approximately 2,500 injured people were rescued from the building alive.
It is considered the deadliest structural failure accident in modern human history, and therefore also the deadliest garment-factory accident in history.
The building contained clothing factories, a bank, apartments, and several shops. The shops and the bank on the lower floors were immediately closed after cracks were discovered in the building.
The building's owners ignored warnings to avoid using the building after cracks had appeared the day before. Garment workers were ordered to return the following day, and the building collapsed during the morning rush-hour.
The head of the Bangladesh Fire Service & Civil Defence, Ali Ahmed Khan, said that the upper four floors had been built without a permit. Rana Plaza's architect, Massood Reza, said the building was planned for shops and offices – but not factories.
Other architects stressed the risks involved in placing factories inside a building designed only for shops and offices, noting the structure was potentially not strong enough to bear the weight and vibration of heavy machinery.
On April 23rd, a TV channel recorded footage that showed cracks in the Rana Plaza building. Immediately afterward, the building was evacuated, and the shops and the bank on the lower floors were closed. Later in the day, Sohel Rana said to the media that the building was safe and workers should return to work. Managers at Ether Tex threatened to withhold a month's pay from workers who refused to come to work. 1,134 people died the next day.
Since the collapse of the Rana Plaza, a movement began. Today is the day Fashion Revolution was born to bring awareness to the way clothes are sourced, produced and consumed, so that clothing is made in a safe, clean and fair way.
Read more about the work that is done all year long, all over the world here
Produced by Ismail Ferdous and Nathan Fitch for the New York Times.