UNC students don’t typically think of the long journey some of their apparel has made to the United States when they pull it out of the closet.
Student Action with Workers hosted the “1,200 Lives Cut Short” event in the Pit Thursday afternoon that memorialized the lives lost in sweatshops in Bangladesh in the past year.
The group is part of a national movement, United Students Against Sweatshops, which has a presence on over 150 campuses nationwide.
The memorial featured 1,200 pieces of red string of varying lengths, which represented the lives and the differing ages of the workers, tied to a line in the Pit. Testimonials from factory workers and photos of workers in Bangladesh also hung from the line.
“We want people to be aware of where their apparel comes from,” said Griffin McCarthy-Bur, co-chairman of the group.
He said the group hoped the memorial would raise awareness about unsafe practices in factories abroad.
Students were asked to sign a petition asking Chancellor Carol Folt to adopt the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh into UNC’s Code of Conduct.
Naomi Carbrey, co-chairwoman of the group, said it has already been signed by many prominent retailers — including H&M.
The University’s Licensing Labor Code Advisory Committee held its first meeting of the year Oct. 31. The committee, which is researching the accord, will advise Chancellor Folt, who will ultimately make the decision.