Major brands fail to join Bangladesh factory safety accord

The new pact is a three-year extension of the Bangladesh Accord, a legally-binding agreement between global brands and trade unions drawn up after the Rana Plaza collapse, one of the worst industrial accidents in modern history.It established a fire and safety programme for the country’s $28 billion a year textile industry, which employs about 4 million people.

So far 175 of the 220 companies in the original accord have signed, but high-profile brands including Abercrombie & Fitch, Combs’ Sean John apparel and Britain’s Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Swedish furniture brand Ikea have not, the Clean Clothes Campaign said.“(They) are doing themselves and their customers a disservice and are knowingly putting the lives of the workers producing for them at risk,” said Christie Miedema of the Campaign, which lobbies to improve workers’ conditions.More than 1,100 people were killed when the Rana Plaza factory complex collapsed in 2013, sparking outrage over poor working conditions in the garment sector.Since then Western brands that manufacture in Bangladesh have been under pressure to do more to ensure worker safety.Sean John did not respond to requests for comment and the Edinburgh Woollen Mill was not reachable.Abercrombie said it was reviewing the 2018 accord, while Ikea said it had chosen to focus on its own safety audit programme IWAY rather than signing up.Unlike the original accord, which expired on Thursday, the new one is open to non-garment companies like Ikea that produce home fabrics and textiles.Campaigners have urged them to sign up, arguing that other schemes such as IWAY lack transparency because they do not make inspection findings and reports public.“We operate on a highly competitive market, and for competitive reasons we don’t hand out a list of our suppliers in Bangladesh or any other country,” Ikea told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an emailed statement.Bangladesh, which ranks behind only China as a supplier of clothes to Western countries, relies on the garment industry for more than 80 percent of its exports.

Major brands fail to join Bangladesh factory safety accord

Related Posts

Boardriders plans to transfer Billabong’s European headquarters to Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France

Dave Tanner, CEO of Boardriders Inc. since last year, first built up a new management team. Now it is the turn of the two groups’ European headquarters…

Bangladesh exports up 9% in May on garment sales

From July to May, the first 11 months of the 2017-18 financial year, total exports rose 6.7 percent to $33.7 billion from a year earlier, said the…

Global retailers remain in crisis mode

Since the start of 2020, the STOXX Europe 600 Retail EUR Price Index has lost more than a fifth of its value. The equivalent index for European…

Inditex launches detergent designed to reduce microfibre release

According to the company, the innovative solution was developed by Inditex together with BASF Home Care and I&I Solutions in Spain and Germany. The detergent reduces microfibre…

Inditex, PVH, Euratex among members of new circular fashion consortium Cisutac

Cisutac members will start working on technological, industry-specific and socio-economic issues relating to sustainable fashion, concentrating on three areas: repairing, disassembling products and sorting used items to…

Indian e-retail market may see 250% growth in 3 years- Crisil report

The online shopping segment has trebled over the past three fiscals due to rising Internet penetration, awareness of online shopping as well as alluring deals and discounts.”After…