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May 8, 2013

Dying for Brands: Among the Deep Affronts of the Bangladesh Factory Collapse (GRAPHIC)

Stunningly, thirteen days after the Bangladesh factory collapse, photos of the disaster continue to heavily circulate as the current death toll now exceeds 760.  It was days ago, in fact, that Dhaka became the worst garment disaster in history.

In watching the photo stream, I’ve been morbidly curious about the pictures of either labels or actual clothing for major Western brands that have emerged from the rubble.  (Samples above, captions below.) What’s particular tragic, however, is how they relate to the following image, one of the most widely published photos from the disaster. It’s the despicable irony that prevents me from getting this photo off my mind — that this young person, in the name of Western fashion, is seeming to have lost his or her own pants in the collapse.

(Photo 1 & 5: Munir uz Zaman / AFP / Getty Images Caption 1: A shirt with a Benetton label lies in the rubble three days after a Bangladeshi garment eight-story building collapsed in Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka, on April 27, 2013. Police arrested two textile bosses over a Bangladeshi factory disaster as the death toll climbed to 332 and distraught relatives lashed out at rescuers trying to detect signs of life. Photo 2: Jeff Holt/Bloomberg Caption 2: A man removes clothing bearing a label that reads ‘Joe Fresh’ from around the devastated area of the collapsed Rana Plaza building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Friday, April 26, 2013. Photo 3: screen grab: AP via Fox News. Photo 4: A.M.Ahad/AP Caption 4: A Bm casual clothing lies amid rubble at the site of a building that collapsed Wednesday in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh,Thursday, April 25, 2013. By Thursday, the death toll reached at least 194 people as rescuers continued to search for injured and missing, after a huge section of an eight-story building that housed several garment factories splintered into a pile of concrete. Caption 5: The dead body of a Bangladeshi youth is seen in the rubble.)

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