A recent poll by Harris Interactive found that just over half of Americans say they don’t check labels to see where apparel is made before purchasing. Forty-four percent say they do.
The Harris Poll, which surveyed 2,052 people in the U.S. online in May, was conducted to gauge the public’s knowledge and concern over factory disasters in Bangladesh. Among the disasters, a factory fire killed 110 in November; another factory fire killed seven in late January; and in April, a factory collapsed, killing more than 1,100 garment workers.
The Harris Poll found that most Americans (69 percent) know about the building collapse, and of those who know, most (92 percent) have heard that the death toll was very high.
As for how the news will affect purchases, roughly half (52 percent) of those aware of the disaster say “they will be no more or less likely to purchase clothes made in Bangladesh.” Thirty-nine percent say they will be “less likely to buy clothes made in Bangladesh.”
Men tended to be less likely (56 percent) to change their purchase habits than women (48 percent).
Bangladesh is the third largest exporter of apparel in the world, just behind China and Italy. The garment industry employs more than 3.5 million people in Bangladesh. Almost all the country’s apparel exports (more than 80 percent) go to the U.S.