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Catherine Day

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The Real Cost of Big Box Retail

Posted: 03/06/2013 6:09 pm

For some, wearing leather weighs down too heavily on their moral fiber. It's one thing to enable the loss of animal lives for the sake of fashion -- but it's a whole other thing to support fashion that enables the loss of human lives -- something you may or may not be doing depending on where your clothing was made.

The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting teamed up with HuffPost Live on Wednesday for a a look inside the burning sweatshops of Bangladesh. With the rising cost of production in China and India tempting many fashion companies to source their products from the poverty-stricken country of Bangladesh, the U.S. has become the second largest importer of readymade goods from Bengali sweatshops. Bangladesh now makes 80 percent of its money from garment factories full of electrical problems, yet void of fire extinguishers and exit routes.

More than 500 garment workers who were making 18 cents an hour have been killed since 2006. In November 2012, a fire at Tazreen Fashions -- a Walmart/Sears supplier -- was the deadliest in the country's history, taking over 100 lives. Although the fire brightly illuminated the absence of responsibility existing between the fashion industry, the monitoring system that protects workers, and the factories filling orders, reform pledges have not protected the scores of those who were injured or killed in the 39 fires since then.

A photojournalist covering this issue, Jason Motlagh, joined Alyona Minkovski in HuffPost Live's Los Angeles studio to share his recent findings.

Join us to discuss, or at least make it a point to remember that if a price is "too good to be true," it probably doesn't include the real cost of big box retail.

Watch the Full Segment on HuffPost Live.

 
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