How will the Bangladesh factory tragedy affect your buying behaviour? Will you boycott certain stores – and would you be willing to pay more for “ethically made” clothing? We asked Globe readers to weigh in on the price of cheap fashion:
“Currently I have a Joe Fresh blouse sitting upstairs that I bought two weeks ago thinking that it was a great price. That price feels pretty heavy now.” Julie Taylor, Waterloo
“It’s not fair to ask consumers to pay more for ethically made clothing – this should be an obligation of enormously rich retailers. If we all stop buying clothes from Bangladesh and other poor countries, it will make their situation even more miserable.” Maria Tchooudkhouri, Toronto
“After this factory horror, I certainly will make sure my clothing is ethically made. I currently avoid stuff made in China, Haiti, Honduras … and now Bangladesh is an absolute no! Buy CANADIAN.” Thomas Nixon, Ymir, B.C.
“I wish my answer was different – but I probably won’t change my buying behaviours. I feel strongly about the rights of the poor, but I still make bad consumer choices all the time. Generally, I buy what I like and what I feel that I can afford.” Katie Froese, Winnipeg
“Right now I'm practically walking barefoot because my shoes are so worn out, and I’m trying to find made in North America shoes that are also vegan. I won’t buy things made in the Third World because I’m trying to support Canadian manufacturers.” Donna Marie, Toronto
“My father is Bangladeshi, and I lived there for about 10 years: I know what a tremendous benefit the garments industry has been …for that country helping boost economic growth, making cheap clothing available to everyone within the country, and providing employment to a large number of people – often women The last thing I’d want people in the West to do following this tragedy is to stop buying Bangladeshi clothes. The effects of such an action would fall disproportionately on the workers – who already have the lowest minimum wage in the world” Rashed Chowdhury, Montreal
“ I buy my clothes almost exclusively from thrift shops and have done so for at least the past 15 years. Keeps my money in the community, supports charity, good for the environment, etc. But the primary motivator is exactly because of tragedies like this. I can afford to buy retail but choose not to.” Kathy Helbren, Winnipeg
“I’d like to put on my jacket with a smile, knowing it was made by my sisters around the world, and that their lives are good because they are properly rewarded for their work. I buy clothes that are durable, classic in design (so they won’t look like last year’s trend), and made by workers who are paid a wage they can live on. … I do the best I can. I don’t want to wear items that are the product of sweatshops or worse.” Rachel Findley, Berkeley Calif.
“I usually read tags for country of manufacturer – but there are times when you're in a hurry to find something or you just love it so much you buy it anyway. My goal now is to buy less, buy ethically made and better quality over the trendy, disposable stuff.” Tracey BrownPrescott Clayton, Ont.
“I don’t and won’t take any steps towards “ethical” clothing – because how can you really know? All the label says is where it’s supposedly made, doesn’t tell me anything about the conditions it was made under.” Sabrina Hashmi, Toronto
“Honestly, the outsourcing of labour to developing nations sickens me. But we are far from rich – we aren’t in a position to only buy ethically sourced items. If a decent pair of kids’ sneakers are $10 at Wal-Mart, I’ll buy them, not because I want to support these greedy companies, but because I have to clothe my family and still pay the bills!” Susan Fillmore, Dutch Settlement N.S.
“ I try to buy pieces for myself that are locally made or ethically sourced, but when it comes to children’s clothes, things I know my child will grow out of in a month or two, it’s harder to spend more.” Lisa Corriveau, Vancouver
“If you boycott countries, you are just creating more poverty. Non-Canadian factories should be certified and the certification should be a logo that brands could put on their label. The name brands who outsource to these factories should be held accountable. They stand to gain the most with no responsibility to those who make their products.” Louise Gardiner, Toronto
“I will now start checking tags and avoid buying anything was made from Bangladesh.” Karen Gauthier, Dartmouth, N.S.