On the 24th of April 2013 1, 129 workers were killed when the building they were working in collapsed in Bangladesh. The Rana Plaza disaster brought to the attention of the world the long hours, low pay and dangerous conditions garment workers are subjected to in order to create the clothes we wear.
On the 1st of May that year at our Annual May Day Mass, Fr. Eoin McCrystal, YCW Chaplain prayed for all those who had lost their lives in the disaster. This was made all the more poignant as the Mass was celebrated during the centenary year of the Lockout which saw many Dublin workers take to the streets to demand better working conditions.
As a movement for young workers, we in YCW wanted to show our solidarity to our fellow workers in Bangladesh. As a means of doing just that we set about informing ourselves and others about the issues facing those who work in the garment industry producing cheap, fast fashion in order for us here to avail of cheap clothing. And so began our Ethical Shopping Campaign.
The campaign has taken the form of Information Events on Ethical Shopping, with guest speaker Francis Doherty, former Projects Co-ordinator for the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers Federation and, as part of One World Week, an input on Fair Trade by Johnny Sheehan of Fair Trade Ireland. Both events were very well attended and an interesting insight into how others suffer in order for us to get a bargain. Photo: Ethical Shopping Event
We have also held workshops in DCU with the support of the Chaplaincy Team there and plan to continue to highlight the conditions of our fellow workers in the garment and textile industry and those who produce fair trade goods in the hope of building a society of conscious consumers. Photo: Fairtrade Event
Further events are planned so keep an eye on this site and connect with us on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Ethical Shopping – What can you do?
Every purchase matters
… your choices make a difference; to the company/multinational (profits), the worker, the environment, so choose wisely.
Learn about the issues & Seek out a “Best Buy”
… choose items based on your values; labour conditions/fair wages/, fair-trade/local produce
Avoid Unnecessary consumption
… Ask yourself, Do I need this product? Will it end up as waste? Do you recycle?
Creators not Consumers – Make real change
… if you’ve found a “Best Buy” or a company with a proven record of bad safety standards or poor treatment of staff, tell your friends and the company.
Use Twitter & Facebook as emails to companies just get filed away.
§ Sign up to global campaigning sites such as
Attend the YCW information events and get involved and informed!