Bangladesh is now the global leader in LEED-certified factories, with 54 of the world’s top 100-ranked factories in the country.
It is a remarkable turnaround for a nation that a little over a decade ago saw one of the darkest days in its history when the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building left a death toll of 1,134.
“The collapse was the deadliest accidental structural failure in modern human history and the deadliest garment-factory disaster in history,” an analysis by the Dhaka Tribune stated.
Since then, Bangladesh has worked tirelessly to reverse the reputation of its garment sector, not just through factories boasting the best safety but also through better conditions and wages for workers.
Suffice it to say that Bangladesh has held its end of the deal. The question remains: What has going green done for Bangladesh’s RMG sector?
It is a shame that Bangladesh is still offered the prices by international buyers, who have undoubtedly yet to hold up their end of the deal.
Acknowledgment of Bangladesh’s transformation is just paying lip service; only when prices reflect this change will it amount to anything.
While the government deserves credit for its role in transforming the garment industry, it must also assist the industry in pursuing fairer prices from international buyers.
Simultaneously, the buyers are also responsible for not sitting atop their high horses and moralizing but putting their money where their mouths are.