Want to see an end to sweatshops in Bangladesh? Shoppers will need to get involved says Marina v.N. Whitman

August 13, 2013

In the wake of the tragic factory fire that took the lives of 1,100 textile workers in Bangladesh, Marina v.N. Whitman, professor of business administration and public policy at the Ford School, writes about the steps that have been taken by American corporations and government leaders to improve factory conditions in Bangladesh, and why they're unlikely to work.

What can consumers do? A good deal more than shareholders, says Whitman, who suggests shoppers urge U.S. firms to join the recent European retail accord, a legally binding agreement that commits companies "to both enforce and help pay for strengthened building and fire safety standards in the factories owned by their Bangladeshi suppliers."

Whitman, a noted expert on corporate social responsibility, says that recent studies suggest that "more of us are willing to put our money where our mouths are," paying higher prices for products produced under fair conditions.

To learn more, read Whitman's op-ed, "What can consumers do to combat sweatshops?" in the Detroit Free Press.