The Norman Transcript


May 28, 2013

Consumers need a conscience

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

Sheikh Rokon had a very interesting and insightful letter in The Norman Transcript on the Bangladesh garment factory collapse. His comments should concern all of us.

Already, more than 500 workers have been killed by this building collapse, with more expected, and more than 2,500 injured. Those of us buying clothes need to evaluate the human costs of our purchases and look at where the products are produced.

Mr. Rokon said this problem will continue to prevail unless garment factory owners improve the working conditions. We, however, can aid this situation by putting pressure on our retailers to insist on improvements, even to the extent of buying alternatives to these cheap clothes made overseas.

I, and many others I know, buy from stores like Goodwill and the Salvation Army, even though I realize most of these clothes were made in these countries. If I can determine clothes are made in the U.S.A., I will even pay more, if necessary, for these.

Things will change with the cost of shipping from overseas increasing and more demands worldwide for improved working conditions. Both Pope Francis and European Union officials criticized Bangladesh’s working conditions and slave labor wages.

In time, companies that are trying to bring back lost manufacturing to our country should have a more even playing field, and maybe these countries like Bangladesh will be forced to improve buildings and working conditions.



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