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

By CNN Staff
updated 7:30 AM EDT, Fri May 3, 2013
  • 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

(CNN) -- 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

Part of complete coverage on
Tragedy in Bangladesh
updated 5:36 PM EDT, Wed May 15, 2013
Reshma, the last survivor of the collapse, describes 17 harrowing days buried underground in pitch-black darkness.
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A well-placed pool of water and an air pocket appear to have combined to help a young woman survive in the rubble for more than two weeks.
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Questions remain over who was ultimately responsible for the Bangladesh tragedy. Is the huge profit buyers make on clothes ethical?
updated 7:30 AM EDT, Fri May 3, 2013
It costs more than three times as much to make a denim shirt in the U.S. as it does in Bangladesh. We break down the numbers.
updated 4:27 PM EDT, Thu May 2, 2013
CNN's Christiane Amanpour asks Bangladesh's prime minister why more wasn't done to prevent a building collapse which killed more than 400.
updated 6:50 AM EDT, Fri May 3, 2013
Prime Minister acknowledges nation's garment industry is beset with problems, but says her government is trying to fix them.
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A nurse who was meant to be on the Boston Marathon finishing line finds herself treating trauma victims in Bangladesh.
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CNN's Richard Quest talks to the editor of Women's Wear Daily, James Fallon, about the garment industry in Bangladesh.
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Journalist David Bergman discusses why the Bangladeshi government said no to international rescue offers.
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After so much horror and heartache, the death of one woman they were trying to rescue was too much for emergency crews.
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Fire breaks out in the rubble of a collapsed Bangladesh building, and one girl recalls the choice she was given: Your hand or your life.