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Bangladesh tragedy won't affect most shoppers' fashion decisions


Nearly half of consumers will not change their shopping habits as a result of the Bangladesh factory collapse, a study conducted for Retail Week has shown.

According to the poll by ICM, 44% of people said they are no more likely to ask where clothes are produced than before the Bangladesh tragedy.

But 13% said they were “a lot” more likely to ask.

Half of those surveyed do not believe retailers should stop sourcing clothing from Bangladesh, while one in five people think they should, with consumers aged between 25 and 34 most supportive of this proposal.

In addition, just 13% of consumers believe retailers bear the most responsibility to ensure safety and acceptable working conditions in Bangladeshi clothing factories. Some 37% say factory owners are responsible, while 26% of consumers blame the Bangladeshi government.

The Rana Plaza building that collapsed in Bangladesh last month has so far killed 1,100 people. The building housed five clothing factories that supplied retailers including Primark and Bonmarche.

The survey findings come as H&M, Primark, Zara owner Inditex and Tesco pledge to sign a new fire safety code in the country.


Readers' comments (5)

  • How can 44% be described as "most"?!?

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  • George MacDonald

    It is the majority group and outweighs those who say they will. And that's before you include those who hadn't heard of the disaster and therefore won't be changing their habits.

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  • Ian Middleton

    Not a surprising result given that previous revelations about the true cost of cheap goods hasn't dented the profits of companies such as Primark.

    A bit of a sad indictment of our current careless consumer culture.

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  • This is very disappointing news, but I'm afraid I'm not surprised. This however should not be seen a green light for retailers not to react to the disasters in Bangladesh. Corporate Social Responsibility must not be allowed to become just an afterthought or marketing objective.

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  • Makes a readable news story, but such surveys will always over report the effect due to responders giving socially desirable responses. But it is another 'nudge' to a more sustainable and responsible sourcing which will slowly serve to improve standards that have fallen so far since true free trade in textiles was introduced in 1994.

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