The high human cost of cheap sourcing

By Daniel Wilcock

This devastating New York Times story about last month’s factory fire in Bangladesh, in which 112 workers perished because they were trapped by both the flames and their managers, is a wake up call.

I think it’s time to purchase fewer “brand” goods produced in places where almost none of the high purchase price commanded by the brand makes it into workers’ hands.

Granted, it’s hard to tell these days which products are produced sustainably. I’d be very curious to know how the Nike running shoes I typically buy, which are made in China, break down in terms of who receives what. My guess is that if I’d like to live by the above axiom, I’d have to find some different sneaks.

The b corporation model is the way forward. Consumers can affect change incrementally with their choices.

My hope is that what happened at Tazreen Fashions Ltd. in Bangladesh is also wake up call for those with the power to make macro changes, from heads of state to brand CEOs.