During my morning commute today, I heard the news of last week's garment factory collapse in Bangladesh. What a horror. The structure was 8 stories and housed 5 garment factories. Over 400 people were killed. My heart really breaks for these people and their families.
A blessing that arose out of this: thousands of workers are marching through the streets of the city demanding safe working conditions. In our country, we had to do the same 100 years ago.
The picture is linked to an ABC.NET.AU article.
We are lucky. I am aware, probably more than most, of the difference in safety culture between the West and the developing worlds because I work in Construction for a multinational company. Failure isn't being over budget or behind schedule. Failure is defined as one of my crew getting hurt. Anything else can be fixed, smoothed over, explained. An injury - large or small - or God forbid a death - is permanent. And, that is why keeping people safe is important. Humans can't be fixed with more money or with time. Sometimes they can heal, but some scars don't go away.
Scarlet Threads is such a blessing in its current form. We do not have to worry about people's working conditions because we work with individuals who we know and trust. Our seamstress works in her home, she sets her own hours, her own pace, and her own price. Knowledge is everything - and we have the responsibility to know where our products are made and by whom. We are blessed to know those things at Scarlet Threads. And, we always will.
My prayer is that the people continue demanding improved working conditions and that we as consumers demand the same thing. We can do our part to support the struggle by being informed consumers and by sharing in the heartbreak with people across the world.