The rat-a-tat of a hundred green sewing machines. The hypnotic hum of spools spinning brightly colored threads. The hiss of a thousand clothing irons.
Set aside for a moment what you think you know about the garment factories in Bangladesh: grimy, sweaty, children sitting in dimly lit, sweltering rooms sewing shirts you buy at your box store for $12.
Here at Lakhsmi Sweaters, the only children are in its in-house day care.
At this factory in Gazipur, on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka, workers sit in long, orderly rows, under bright neon lights, with fans blasting full speed.
They get hourlong lunch breaks and free medicine. Medical checkups are mandatory, and the factory employs a full-time doctor. New mothers receive maternity leave -- and pay.
"The atmosphere should always be healthy, friendly and livable. We don't need buyers to tell us that," said Safina Rahman, director of Lakhsmi and one of just a handful of female owners in what is predominantly a male-run industry.
"This is my duty. This is how I'd want my children to grow."
But in the wake of the Rana Plaza disaster when Bangladesh's extremely lucrative garment business has come under increased international scrutiny, Rahman and her workers worry about the effect the backlash will have on them.
Retailers in the West are rethinking their partnerships as customers threaten to shop elsewhere.
United Students Against Sweatshops, a labor rights group, is planning protests against clothiers it believes aren't committed to strict standards in Bangladesh.
And the Obama administration may take away the tax breaks Bangladesh get for goods that the United States imports.
All of which would have devastating consequences for Bangladesh.
The garment industry has been a boon for this South Asian nation of 160 million. It pumps $20 billion a year into the economy. In a country where 31% of the population lives below the poverty line, the industry has been a salvation for 4 million people working in more than 4,500 factories.
"More than 2 million people are working in this trade; maybe more," Rahman said. "If one (worker) has four people to look after in the family, that's almost 8 million people who are living off this trade."
"If we are bloodsuckers, who is contributing to this economy?" she added. "It's become a big-time challenge for us. People like us."
Poppy Begum is a stitcher here, one of 2,000 workers spread across four floors. She works nine-hour days, six days a week, helping create sweaters and other knitwear bound for Europe, Canada and Australia.
In an industry where the turnover is extremely high, many of the workers such as Begum have been here for almost a decade.
It's easy to see why: The starting wage is $51 a month -- higher than the industry average of $35.
They are trained in first aid. And they appoint a representative who airs their grievances to management.
In other words, the accusations that bedevil the industry now -- safety issues, workers rights, low pay -- are addressed here.
"We get paid on time. If Friday is a holiday, we get paid a day earlier," Begum said.
We spoke to several workers at Lakhsmi and asked them to speak freely about their conditions. They seemed content.
It turns out that medium-sized factories such as this aren't the ones creating the headlines.
They are tailored for the task, they meet safety standards and they pass inspections.