My new job requires “business casual” attire, and I need a new wardrobe. Seriously, an ENTIRE new wardrobe. I wore a company-provided uniform in my last position, and I don’t have any “work appropriate” clothes.
I also don’t have a lot of money.
I trucked it down to my local H&M for some $6 pencil skirts, blouses, and other basics. I’m in the dressing room
squeezing into trying on clothes when I see the tag “Made in Bangladesh.” In case you missed it, the Rana Plaza factory building near Dhaka collapsed on April 24th and killed more than 1,100 people.
My mind filled with images of twisted metal, death, and the profiteering negligence that contributed to (some say, caused) the death toll. So what do I do? Do I buy the clothes?
H&M is the world’s largest buyer of clothes from Bangladesh. Am I buying clothes created by someone whose body was pulled from the rubble? I need the job. I don’t have a lot of cash.
How do I reconcile my working-class status with feminist advocacy, and what I know is tacit support of an unethical system of production?
Would you buy the clothes? What are the alternatives?