• Thursday, Sep 20, 2018
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From rags to riches

  • Published at 07:31 pm May 4th, 2017
From rags to riches

Talk about hypocrisy.

There is no justification for the mammoth gap that exists between the manufacturing costs and the end retail prices imposed by foreign buyers when it comes to Bangladeshi RMG products.

According to a recent DT report, it was found that foreign clothing retailers make as much as a 600% profit on any single article of clothing manufactured on our soil -- with, for example, a polo shirt that costs around $3.30 (Tk273) to make being marked up to $42 (Tk3,475) for foreign customers to buy.

In light of this information, the moral grandstanding of foreign clothing companies such as H&M and Zara regarding the working conditions of Bangladeshi RMG factories does not merely ring hollow, but comes off as especially insincere, given the sizeable profits they have been making off the backs of our hard-working men and women.

The fact that these manufacturers often go out of their way to fight tooth and nail with local manufacturers to secure the lowest possible prices should be a damning indictment of where their priorities lie, and that any concern about our worker rights is mere eyewash.

This practice on part of our foreign buyers is truly rotten.

If foreign buyers wish to act fair, they need to first play fair. They need to make sure that our RMG factories are being paid what they are due. If not, foreign buyers should be called out on their double standards.

All of this begs the question: Given that the owner of Zara is currently the richest individual in all of Europe, how much would it cost such a company to grow a conscience?