In April 2013, an industry that constitutes the backbone of our GDP and exports collapsed with the death of 1129 workers. In spite of Bangladesh being the third largest garment producer in the world, generating 80% annual export revenue, we lost the edge in the global market. 5 years since the Rana Plaza tragedy, the RMG industry has gone through a rigorous transformation to ensure workers’ rights and safety. However, despite such developments, the big picture presented to the world was missing the driving force of the industry: the workers. The supply chain in RMG sector was in dire need for transparency.
We joined forces with C&A Foundation, one of the largest buyers of RMG sector in Bangladesh, to bring transparency in RMG supply chain using storytelling and content marketing. Our biggest challenge was to ensure authentic and powerful stories. Our objective was to humanize an industry which has been faceless for decades. We aimed to bridge the gap between consumers and RMG workers through a platform called “Made in Equality” (MiE).
MiE is a platform which shows garment workers and others in the industry in a new light. We used the platform to demonstrate that the RMG industry is helping the workers shape their lives, giving them the opportunity to lead a life of dignity. For this project, we built a website to give stories their own identity and used Facebook as a platform. These stories were told by the workers from a personal point of view; a first-of-its-kind in the industry, globally.
Each story featured in the platform was published along with a photograph of the worker. The stories were published in both English and Bengali with an objective to reach both local and global audience. Besides the website, the contents were distributed through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
MiE featured 160+ personal stories. We created a heartwarming video and a photo series on Women’s Day as a part of our “Two Worlds Everyday” campaign. We have also featured another photo series for “Meet the Makers,” a campaign which shared stories of five tailors and their life.
MiE received overwhelming responses in the form of reactions, comments, and shares. It received 4.5 million engagements and 3.8 million clicks from 11 million Bangladeshis on Facebook (45% of all Facebook users in Bangladesh was engaged in this campaign). Our videos have 1m+ views. The MiE Facebook page has gained 100k page likes in 1 year, organically. MiE became the only platform in the world with real stories told by real people in the RMG sector. The stories humanized RMG workers, beyond a faceless workforce, generated public interest, and introduced workers in a light in which they have never been shown before.
MiE also received public acclamations. It was featured in The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Fashion Revolution, The Daily Star, and other major platforms. Influential personalities and celebrities in Bangladesh also endorsed the campaign. We have successfully helped increase transparency in the supply chain of the garment industry using content marketing by giving everyone the opportunity to take a closer look at the lives of those who are making their clothes.