More than 20 people were arrested at an REI store in the US amid protests at the retailer’s ties with outdoor brand The North Face, which is accused of worker rights violations in Bangladesh.

The students and members of REI – the company has a co-operative ownership model – were arrested at the store in Rockville, Maryland, as part of a national day of action on Saturday (26 July). 

The campaign by the United Students Against Sweatshops pressure group demands that REI sever ties with The North Face because of its failure to sign up to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.

The students said REI should take a stronger stand against The North Face and parent company VF Corporation after a fire at a supplier factory last month in Bangladesh, in which several workers were injured.

They complain that The North Face and VF have been implicated in other factory incidents, including a fire 2010 in which 29 workers were killed.