The film I finished last year is finally up on the internets! http://vimeo.com/81473215
Style Journal Tumblr Blog looks fun and I want to do it too. Look at the things I’m wearing today!
The Bangladeshis Who Make Your Clothes Have Been Given a Raise
As discouraging as it is, no number of documentaries or worthy articles is suddenly going to make everyone in the world care about the people making our underwear for $1.50 a day. A large part of that is probably because it’s hard to comprehend how shocking the working conditions in Bangladesh’s clothing factories are until you visit them for yourself—until you meet the workers being slapped around by their bosses and the kids being hidden on the factory roof every time Western buyers come to town.
In response to those working conditions and wages, which are among the lowest in the world, some workers have been striking for weeks, their frustration often turning to violence as they clash with police. And those violent protests have won them what looks like a victory: the Bangladesh government announced over the weekend that the minimum wage for garment workers is going to be increased by 77 percent, to $67 a month.
I flew out to Bangladesh a couple of weeks before the pay raise was announced to meet some garment workers. Upon arrival, a contact took me to a poor factory neighborhood—a slum, comprised as it was of a few beaten up huts—on the outskirts of Dhaka. There, he introduced me to Bilkiss, a sweet, pretty 18-year-old who had worked at the same garment factory for five years. She is one of an estimated 4 million in Bangladesh who make our clothes.
"As deeply distressing as all of this is, the sad truth is that if we were all to boycott companies that source their clothes from Bangladesh, young girls like Bilkiss and Lovle would most likely lose their jobs and not have any income at all. "
Or, much like their response to the strikes and protests, factory owners could pay attention to the trend and continue raising wages and improving working conditions.
There’s a reason I make an effort to buy American/European/Canadian made. It does requires you to do most of your shopping online, googling “(product I want) + made in USA,” and it requires you to pay a bit more - the end result being you’ll buy fewer things but in general, they’ll be better-made.
My one “cheat” to this rule is thrift stores - if I’m buying it second-hand and keeping it out of a landfill, I can overlook the label. For now.
Sweatshop labor is something I feel strongly about, and the wage raise is incredibly heartening news. Let’s hope the new laws are implemented, and the trend continues.
It’s getting weird in here. Send help.
Chickweird 3. A quickie final drawing.
Still not sure about that mouth. Or that turtleneck.
More Chickweird Lane. I should add that, to 12 year old me, this female character (who, I believe was a concert pianist? Or something?) seemed the height of sophistication.
Upon further examination, it appears I didn’t get the angle of her head quite right. Smeh.