With staggering export revenues of a total of 12.43 billion dollars, the textile and clothing industry in Bangladesh is not only the most valuable source of income for the country, it is in fact the single source of growth in Bangladesh’s rapidly developing economy. Today, developed nations such as the United States are massively dependent on developing countries for their garment production. There are multiple fundamental factors that have boosted the growth of the textile industry in Bangladesh, including resources, opportunities and favourable government policies. Yet, the success and development of the industry has resulted mainly from the abundance in workers. Having approximately 170 million inhabitants and being an LEDC, it is needless to say that Bangladesh has an advantage of producing labour-intensive products at extremely low wages and low overall costs of production. However, the low costs of production have raised questions as to the safety for workers within their working environment, especially after the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in 2013. The factory was located in the outskirts of Dhaka and took the lives of circa 1100 people. The collapse has exposed many textile manufacturers of the unethical practices involved in their operations that are undoubtedly the outcome of low wages as well as minimal safety precautions for labour workers, which translates to low costs of production. In order to continue expanding this industry, western fashion brands called for a change towards more ethical behaviour. The question that arises from this is the extent to which this change in behaviour of the Bangladeshi firms has occurred and hence influenced their marketing strategies.
With respect to this question, it is important to take into consideration the collapse itself and the causes, the statistics of the textile industry before the collapse, the impact of the collapse on fashion brands, the actual changes in terms of ethical behaviour, its effectiveness as well as the resulting influence on their marketing strategies.
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