Bangladesh vs. the U.S.: How much does it cost to make a denim shirt?

Story highlights

  • The eight-storey Rana Plaza garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh last week
  • More than 400 workers were killed, highlighting issues with safety and wages
  • Our graphic illustrates the cost of making a denim shirt in the U.S. and Bangladesh

The collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh last week, which killed more than 500 workers, has highlighted serious issues with safety and poor pay for garment workers in the country. As our graphic illustrates, there are stark contrasts in the cost of making clothes in Bangladesh, compared to the U.S.

The garment industry accounts for 77% of Bangladesh's exports -- a $20 billion industry for the nation.

The European Union, Bangladesh's largest trade partner, said Tuesday that it was considering trade action against Bangladesh. U.S. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said businesses that operated in the collapsed building "appear to have links to numerous companies in the U.S. and Europe." He added they would work with U.S. companies on "improving working conditions, including in Bangladesh."

READ MORE: The bloodshed behind our cheap clothes

READ MORE: Prime minister says Bangladesh is reforming its garment industry