BANGLADESH: Inditex suspends two suppliers following fire
Spanish retail group Inditex has suspended two suppliers after it appears that they were illegally subcontracting to the Bangladesh factory that burnt down on Saturday, killing seven people.
The fire at the Smart Export Garment factory, based in Dhaka, came just two months after 112 people lost their lives in another apparel factory fire in Bangladesh.
Labour groups say Smart Export Garment was making apparel for European retailers including Inditex's Bershka and Lefties brands, KIK Okay (belonging to the German discounter KIK), as well as New Look, Scott and Fox, and Solo Invest.
However, KIK has denied that it had any relationship with Smart Exports, or has received any evidence that orders were sub-contracted to the factory.
The cause of the fire at the two-storey factory is unknown, but more than 350 workers were at the facility when the fire broke out on Saturday afternoon.
An Inditex spokesperson said that according to information available to it at this time, two orders for the company appear to have been diverted, without authorisation, to the factory distroyed by the fire.
These orders were placed on 12 December and 17 January with Spanish supplier Wonnever. They were supposed to be manufactured by apparel firm Bangladesh Centex Textile and Apparels Limited, which had been audited in accordance with Inditex's standard procedure.
The spokesperson told just-style Smart Garments has never been among the factories authorised to produce merchandise for the Inditex Group, and it never would have been allowed to manufacture for Inditex.
While Wonnever and Bangladesh Centex deny outsourcing the manufacture of these orders, the spokesperson said Inditex has immediately severed all trade ties with both companies in light of the evidence found.
The retailer is continuing to investigate the chain of events to determine who was directly responsible for the fire, and where appropriate take legal action.
"With this decision, Inditex aims to send a clear and unequivocal message to the entire Bangladeshi garment industry: the group will not tolerate any failure to comply with the Inditex Code of Conduct's specific safety rules established to protect workers."
The retailer has dispatched teams to the area, who are providing "all possible support on the ground to those affected and to the families of the victims," the spokesperson said. The teams are also "studying how they can best provide assistance and what form such aid should take".
Inditex is also working with the International Trade Federation, IndustriALL, to implement a joint initiative geared towards securing a commitment from the textile industry in Bangladesh that would guarantee optimal workplace health and safety conditions, the spokesperson added.
More than 150 companies have now signed the new Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh following the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in April last year, which killed more than 1,...
Inditex was founded in 1963 by Amancio Ortega Gaona. The group opened its first Zara shop in 1975 in A Coruna, Spain. Inditex was established as the head of the corporate group in 1985. The group witn...
With the Spanish economy facing another liquidity crisis and possible second round of European recession, Spanish apparel giant Inditex could have been looking at a bleak future. However, thus far the...
Unveiling a new five-year plan to improve worker safety at the factories in Bangladesh that produce their clothing, North American brands and retailers were keen to stress the similarities between the...
Inditex, Industria de Diseño Textil SA is present in Colombia with its Zara, Bershka, Massimo Dutti and Stradivarius brands. The company plans to continue expanding into major and medium-sized cities....
- Garment firms set sights on Vietnam amid TPP talks
- Garment manufacturers eye Myanmar outsourcing
- Changes in China cotton policies cause uncertainty
- PSF 2014: No one size fits all in apparel sourcing
- PSF 2014: Shifting focus from cost to consumer
- Wage strike by Cambodia garment workers falls flat
- H&M still committed to higher wages and Bangladesh
- Vietnam Q1 textile and garment exports surge 21.9%
- Alliance inspections more than 50% complete
- Gap to grow China sales to $1bn in three years
- Ethiopia – the emerging textile and clothing industry
- Trade and trade policy: clothing imports, consumer expenditure and trends in five emerging markets: Brazil, Colombia, India, Kazakhstan and Peru, 4th quarter 2013
- Antimicrobial fibres, fabrics and apparel: innovative weapons against infection
- Sustainable Textiles for Apparel: Fact, Fiction and Future Prospects
- Jeans in Italy