In Dhaka in April we all saw the devastation as a factory full of garment workers collapsed and killed more than 1000 people. It is one of the worst industrial disasters of it’s kind and is a very stark reminder of the terrible building standards endured by other countries around the world. And to be honest, Britain does have to share some of the blame.

Those working in the that factory made clothes for British companies such as Primark. While everyone was saying how terrible it was, a lot of you were probably also wearing those cheaply made clothes, stitched by the people who died in that factory. We as a nation should share some of the blame due to our greedy nature to have as many things as possible, made abroad thanks to forced cheap labour in unsafe conditions.

I see it whenever I drift past Primark and other uber-cheap retailers. People fill their baskets up to the top with dozens of t-shirts, shirts, shoes and socks. Does anyone really need 10 t-shirts at a time? Just because they’re £3 each? The Western world’s appetite for mass produced, cheap products has spurned the type of poorly built factories, like the one that collapsed in Dhaka. There are two things I think we should do, and this applies to ALL things made abroad…

1. Provide man power and expertise to Asian countries making our goods to build better structures. There is no doubt that the building that collapsed in Dhaka would never have passed our building standards. In fact, the owner of the building insisted everyone remain working inside, despite concerns from workers about safety issues. I’d like to think that if we sent over some of our own building experts and some British companies over the places like Bangladesh, we could help improve the next generation of structures. You never know, it might even aid British companies and our overall industry too!

2. Bring manufacturing back home. I personally would pay a few pounds more for things, not just clothes, if they were made in Britain. It would benefit our economy massively and provide jobs for the 2.5m people still unemployed in this country. Plus, they would be working in far safer conditions than abroad. I’m not being anti-globalist, I’m am thinking from a safety and British economy point of view. Britain needs to make more, this is how to do it.

Our industry is still very much reliant from global important to sustain it. With world prices still rising, transport costs still very high, imports will be something we won’t be able to rely on for much longer. If we can nurture our industry on these shores to provide for us everything we need, we can protect ourselves against global shocks which could have a negative impact on the fenestration sector.

We can all but dream though eh?