WAMU 88.5 : The Kojo Nnamdi Show

Bangladesh: Cheap Clothes, Deadly Factories

The South Asian nation of Bangladesh has risen rapidly within the global garment industry to become the world's second largest exporter of clothing. European and American companies have been attracted by some of the lowest wages in Asia. But two recent deadly accidents in Bangladeshi factories -- including a building collapse that killed more than 300 people -- have raised questions about the true cost of cheap clothes. Kojo explores the global clothing economy.

Top 10 U.S. Textile Apparel Imports By Country (In Billions)

Country 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2011 2012
China 3.6 4.8 6.5 22.4 38.5 40.7 40.6
Vietnam 0.0 0.0 0.1 2.9 6.3 7.2 7.7
India 0.8 1.6 2.7 4.6 5.4 5.9 5.9
Indonesia 0.7 1.3 2.4 3.1 4.7 5.3 5.2
Mexico 0.7 3.0 9.7 7.3 4.5 4.8 4.6
Bangladesh 0.4 1.1 2.2 2.5 4.1 4.7 4.6
Pakistan 0.4 1.0 1.8 2.9 3.1 3.4 3.0
Honduras 0.1 0.9 2.3 2.6 2.4 2.6 2.6
Cambodia 0.0 0.0 0.8 1.7 2.2 2.6 2.6
El Salvador 0.1 0.6 1.6 1.7 1.7 1.8 1.9
Italy 1.0 1.5 2.1 2.1 1.4 1.6 1.7
Canada 0.5 1.7 3.4 2.8 1.4 1.5 1.4
Thailand 0.6 1.4 2.5 2.1 1.5 1.4 1.3
Philippines 1.1 1.7 2.3 1.9 1.1 1.3 1.2
South Korea 2.7 2.3 3.1 1.9 0.9 0.9 0.9
Taiwan 3.0 2.8 2.8 1.6 0.9 0.9 0.9
Dominican Republic 0.7 1.8 2.5 1.9 0.6 0.7 0.7
Hong Kong 3.8 4.4 4.7 3.6 0.2 0.2 0.2

(Credit: Office of Textiles and Apparel, U.S. Department of Commerce)

NPR

No Longer Omar: Actor Michael K. Williams On Lucky Breaks And Letting Go

Over the course of his career, Williams says he's learned to separate himself from his characters (like The Wire's Omar). In HBO's The Night Of, he plays a powerful prison inmate named Freddy.
NPR

#FoodPorn, Circa 1600s: Then And Now, It Was More About Status Than Appetite

A new study of old masters finds that capturing and showing off decadent and expensive meals is a decidedly old-fashioned practice. Like today's Instagrammers, it was all about projecting an image.
WAMU 88.5

The Legality Of Restoring Virginia Voting Rights

Virginia's governor is bypassing the commonwealth's Supreme Court ruling and restoring felon voting rights individually. Kojo examines Terry McAuliffe's move with a legal expert.

NPR

The Big Internet Brands Of The '90s — Where Are They Now?

Verizon's purchase of Yahoo will close the book on one of the oldest Internet companies. What happened to the other famous '90s brands, like GeoCities, Netscape and CompuServe? A nerdy remembrance.

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