The tragic collapse of a Bangladeshi garment factory last April which killed more than 1000 workers has inspired ActionAid and digital training institute Hyper Island to create a fake shopping website.
A fake online shopping website The Rana Plaza was developed by three students of Hyper Island in partnership with human rights client ActionAid to raise awareness of the dire conditions experienced by garment factory workers.
The website was named after the Bangladeshi factory building mimics the look and feel of online fashion retail sites but has a twist. Designed to prompts consumers to question the impacts of their buying habits, the landing page asks, “Looking for cheap clothes? Shop for workers’ rights instead.”
Where a garment’s fabric and sizing details would typically be featured, viewers are instead informed of the poor workers’ rights issues in developing countries.
More information on a pair of $25 shoes reveals, “The majority of garment workers in Bangladesh earn little more than the minimum wage, set at 3,000 taka ($38.50) per month …The vast majority of these workers (85%) are women.”
Viewers have the option to buy the virtual sandals with the money going towards supporting factory workers and insisting on fair wages.
Tom Gustafsson, a student of Hyper Island's Digital Strategy course says this is the first time Hyper Island has worked with an Australian organisation.
“With this website, we wanted to explore moving the consequences of a fashion purchase from pain to prevention, while provoking consumers to think about their individual responsibility in an edgy way.”
ActionAid Australia’s communications manager, Gemma Pitcher, said the organisation was excited to be working with an institute as well regarded as Hyper Island.
“With this website, we’re hoping to spread the message that the opportunity to halt garment workers’ exploitation around the world doesn't just lie with retailers.”