Fashion’s Hidden Cost in Bangladesh’s Garment Industry

Imagine you are a senior business executive with a multinational corporation that sells garments that are manufactured in Bangladeshi factories.

First, CHOOSE ONE COMPANY that you represent. Here are some to choose from: Children’s Place, Walt Disney Company, Walmart, Joe Fresh (Loblaw),

Tommy Hilfiger (PVH), Calvin Klein (PVH), H&M, Benetton, J.C. Penney, Nike, Cato Fashions, Target, American Eagle. Find out if your company has a

corporate or social responsibility page (all the above do). Check to see if it has an official policy on factory safety or working conditions. Look

at any statements it issued after the 2013 building collapse in Bangladesh which killed over a thousand workers who were engaged in making apparel

for multinational corporations ( Look through the web to find out what the history of

apparel manufacturing and trade has been, and where Bangladesh fits into that.


Answer the following questions based on your research:

1) Which country is the leader in apparel exports?

2) What is the value of apparel exports from Bangladesh? What is the importance of apparel export in Bangladesh’s economy?

3) How many workers does the industry employ? What percentage of these workers are women? Why do women dominate this industry? How much do they

earn? What is the minimum wage in Bangladesh? Can workers organize in unions? What hurdles do they face when they try to unionize?

4) Which countries have the lowest labor costs in the apparel industry? Bangladesh? Cambodia? China? Vietnam? Mexico?

5) What is the global supply chain that your company employs? Where do its products come from? Who makes them? Under what conditions?


Compose a formal corporate document outlining what your company should do in the wake of the recent building collapse in Bangladesh. The document

should be written to address the stakeholders of the company. Make sure it identifies the problems and includes feasible recommendations based on

data. Cite your sources. The document should be 1000 words long. Include a word count for this part.