Who made my bag?

Wie heeft mijn tas gemaakt?

Today is Fashion Revolution Day!

Holee? Yes and no.
The reason this day exists is anything but festive. Today marks exactly 5 years since the collapse of the large Rana Plaza textile factory in Bangladesh.
On April 24, 2013, 1,127 people died there and 2,000 people were (seriously) injured. Most victims were women between the ages of 20 and 30. At the time the building collapsed, around 5,000 people were working for brands such as C&A, Mango, Primark, Zara, Bershka, Pull & Bear and Benetton.

Why did the building collapse?

The building was poorly maintained for years. A day before the disaster, large cracks were discovered in the walls. Experts said these cracks were life-threatening. The next day, all 5,000 employees showed up. Why? Not going was not an option. In the absence of a union, no work meant no pay. The workers in Rana Plaza earned about five times less than the living wage (not to be confused with minimum wage). If they did not go to work, it would be very difficult to buy food for their children.
All this resulted in the biggest disaster in the fashion world ever. Of course we never wanted this again.

And then?

A lot has happened since that day 5 years ago. Plans were made for better working conditions and more transparency. Obviously for Bangladesh, but also in other parts of the world, there was a wake-up call.

People started to become aware of what lies behind their clothes and accessories.
Companies realized that they could no longer get away with poor working conditions so easily.

A report on the Transparency Index 2017 that was published a while ago shows that the non-transparent way in which fashion brands work is a major problem. This has 2 reasons:

1) Companies see it as competitively sensitive information that they would rather not reveal.

2) In many cases they do not know exactly what their production chain looks like. The making of the products is outsourced to a party that in turn engages many other parties to complete the fashion job.

As a result, the vast majority of brands still do not provide information about their supply chain. This leaves you as a consumer in the dark as to whether your new must-have has been produced in a fair manner.

What does BAGOA have to do with it?

The collapse of Rana Plaza is one of the reasons why BAGOA exists. Why did people have to work in such poor conditions? Why do companies make such a fuss about where and how their stuff is made? Can't this be done differently?

Yes, it is possible, but as it turned out, we would have to do it ourselves! You can read more about this in the blog The story of BAGOA about the origins of our brand.

Oh yes, you may have wondered who made your bag, this is Surya and she is super happy that she works for BAGOA!

Reading next

The Story of BAGOA

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