Children's clothing retailer Reima is accused of the poor treatment of Bangladeshi seamstresses. Bangladeshi seamstresses are only paid 2 cents per a shirt manufactured for Reima, a Finnish children's clothing manufacturer, that in Finland fetches a price of 12.95 euros, YLE reports.

The estimate is based on figures provided to the national broadcaster by Reima and the management of a Bangladeshi manufacturing facility interviewed for YLE's MOT programme Bloodstained Fashion. Each seamstress at the facility, the investigative programme reports, participates in the manufacturing of 3,000 infants' shirts a day.

Wages in the Bangladeshi garment industry are the second-lowest in the world. At the manufacturing facility visited by MOT, seamstresses are paid roughly 60 euros per month.

Kalpona Akter, the director of the Bangladesh Centre for Worker Solidarity, believes the Finnish clothing manufacturer should be ashamed of itself “Reima doesn't really care about the safety or working conditions that Bangladeshi factory workers face,” Akter said on the YLE programme.

Following the devastating collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Savar, a suburb of the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, in April last year, the Government of Bangladesh, local trade unions and 160 western clothing retailers have signed a new accord on fire and building safety.

Although at least seven Finnish clothing retailers have manufacturing operations in the country, thus far only Stockmann has signed the safety accord, according to MOT.

Juha Alitalo, the chief operating officer at Reima, says that the children's clothing manufacturer has not signed the accord because Reima is such a small player in Bangladesh. “Bangladesh has been more of an experiment for us,” Alitalo explained to YLE.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Juhani Niiranen / HS