by David Radcliff
The clothing factory collapse in Bangladesh killing hundreds — another in a string of such tragedies in the past year — is a reminder of the high cost of our cheap clothes.
Not only are the mostly female workers in these factories paid pitiful wages (in Bangladesh, as low as 14 cents an hour for 14-hour days), but they must risk their lives to labor in unsafe conditions. Meanwhile, the CEOs of the clothing corporations earn $10,000 to $17,000 an hour, shareholders rake in profits, and we brag over our latest “find” of an inexpensive garment purchased at the mall.
Radcliff is director of the New Community Project. Originally from Blue Ridge, he now lives in Peoria, Ariz.