On the 24.04.2013 1134 people were killed in the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in Bangladesh while working in inhumane conditions producing clothes for high-street American and European brands. It was just few months after the fire blast in another factory. Overall, since 1990 almost 1500 people were killed and more than 4000 seriously injured in the series of catastrophes in Bangladeshi fashion production sector.
Since TV revolution the information regarding accidents, terrorist attacks, human humiliation and death in general, have been being displayed on daily basis through TV broadcast and print media. Most recently, it is the Internet and social media to be the main disposal platform for the news of all sorts. At the same time, some of the global horrific events are more memorable than the others, while many are left almost unnoticed. For instance, on 11.09.2001 2998 people were killed in the United States by 19 terrorists and that event changed contemporary world on many levels, to start with the way people travel to the tangible craze of surveillance. At the same time, there is still a great proportion of people who are not aware of recent Bangladeshi disaster.
Did the Rana Plaza tragedy change the way customers perceive and consume fashion? While being obsessed with buying more for less, buying the latest bits and consuming fashion as if it was food, more often than not without consideration of one’s choices, have customers of fashion in general become terrorists themselves? Is it ethical to buy a T-shirt which is cheaper than your lunch?
Contemporary fashion brands are expected to be “instagramable” and “social-media friendly”. The number of “Thumbs” or “Likes” is the new exponent of success and free marketing tool reaching the vast audience. Fashion is no longer exclusive. It is an inclusive element of contemporary culture and the contest of popularity. Everyone’s invited. Fashion, whether high-street or high-end, has become the new Coca-Cola, a tasty product available for masses - whether on a shop floor for those who can afford it and on the screen of a smart phone for those who cannot.
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