On the road in Bangladesh – textile production on site

“We are returning home from our trip to Bangladesh with mixed feelings,” says SEZ employee Maria Gießmann. "On the one hand, a lot has happened since the Rana Plaza accident, but on the other hand, Bangladesh remains one of the lowest wage countries in the world."

She was part of a group that spent a week in the first half of September visiting various textile factories and other facilities in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka.

The initiator of the trip was Axel Schütz from the Friedrich-von-Alberti-Gymnasium Bad Friedrichshall. He was accompanied by several students from the school, representatives of various companies from the fair fashion sector, a representative of Aktion Hope, a film team and Maria Gießmann and Philipp Keil from the SEZ.

The textile sector in Bangladesh is divided into two parts. The part that produces for export has been “heavily monitored” since the factory collapse in 2013, in which more than 1.100 people died, reports Maria Gießmann. As a result, social standards for workers have now been significantly raised and working conditions have improved. The current topic is increasing the minimum wage, which is currently around 50 euros per month. This is what an untrained seamstress gets.

The situation is different in the area where production is carried out for the domestic market. According to experts, not much or nothing at all has improved here in recent years. The same applies to the entire supply sector.

In Bangladesh, the automation of textile production has already begun, as Maria Gießmann has learned. It will continue to progress over the next few years, and the result will be massive job losses in the country's textile industry.

Further information about the Bangladesh trip can be found here here.

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