In Your Factory, Are the Doors Locked?


Friday, March 25
8 am – 8 pm: Production Shift
8 pm – 9:30 pm: Dinner, shirtwaist blouse sale and reflective conversation
Please stop by and see Frau Fiber and the Faux Fraus anytime during this 12-hour production shift to commemorate the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire or join us for dinner afterwards.
One hundred and five years ago on March 25, a fire spread through the cramped Triangle Shirtwaist Factory’s 8th, 9th and 10th floors of the Asch Building in lower Manhattan. Workers in the factory, many of whom were young women recently arrived from Europe, had little or no opportunity to escape. The rapidly spreading fire killed 146 workers. The public outcry over what was clearly a preventable tragedy brought a renewed sense of urgency to the labor movement and to other groups working to improve women’s and immigrants’ rights in the workplace. While the American workplace has changed radically, conditions in the global garment industry have not. Bangladesh, the new capital of fast fashion, and Pakistan have seen the following disasters:
April 24, 2013: 2013 Rana Plaza building collapse. An eight-story factory building collapsed on the outskirts of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, and killed 1129 people.
November 24, 2012: Dhaka Tasreen Fashions fire. A seven-story factory fire outside of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, killed at least 112 people, 12 from jumping out of windows to escape the blaze.
September 11, 2012: Karachi, Pakistan, 289 people died in a fire at the Ali Enterprises garment factory, which made ready-to-wear clothing for Western export.
As a reminder of continued labor abuses in the garment industry and in honor of the workers who have died for the production of cheap fast fashion for companies such as H&M, Forever 21, Walmart, Target, and Gap, Frau Fiber and the Faux Fraus will sew for a 12-hour shift, producing replicas of the Shirtwaist Blouse. In 2011, Frau Fiber cut these blouses from Los Angeles garment factory remnants. Each year, on the anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, Frau commences with this commemorative production in an attempt to complete 146 blouses.