Shoppers aware of factory fire, but put it out of their minds

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Firefighters at scene of garment factory fire, Dhaka, Bangladesh. (AP photo)

Firefighters at scene of garment factory fire, Dhaka, Bangladesh. (AP photo)

NEW YORK (AP) – Interviews with shoppers in the U.S. and elsewhere indicate that they are generally aware of the fire that killed 112 people in a garment factory in Bangladesh last weekend — a factory that was making items for some major U.S. retailers.

But many said they didn’t give it any thought when deciding what clothing to buy. A shopper in New York’s Times Square said she was just thinking of Christmas, and getting her kids something from New York.

A college student shopping in Singapore said she tries not to think about the conditions that workers endure in order to keep the prices low. She said, “Either our pockets get lighter or we have to live with more blood on our hands.”

The head of a company that surveys American consumers on behalf of retailers says the attitude is nothing new. Britt Beemer says the number of people who are concerned about treatment of workers in the countries where the clothing is made is so small, he “quit asking the question.”

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