Bangladesh: Latest apparel and textile news & analysis
Some 190 companies have now signed the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh following the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in Dhaka, which killed more than 1,100 people last year.
Will efforts to improve fire, building and worker safety in Bangladesh's apparel industry translate into more business - and higher prices? While a major discussion point for ready-made garment exporters at the recent Dhaka Apparel Summit, retailers and brands prefer to focus instead on the business benefits of a compliant supply chain.
The Bangladesh ready-made garment industry has set out an ambitious goal to double its exports to $50bn over the next seven years as it works to rebuild its reputation in the wake of recent tragedies. But while the plans are big in scope they are also short on detail, and executives at last week's inaugural Dhaka Apparel Summit suggest massive challenges still remain if the country is to reach its goal.
The over-riding message from a review last week to look at ongoing efforts to improve worker rights and factory safety in Bangladesh's ready-made garment and knitwear industry seems to be that "a lot of work still remains to be done."
A review of the work carried out so far by the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety says the group has made "significant and laudable progress" over the past 12 months - but pulls no punches when it comes to the many challenges that still lie ahead.
A five-year project is aiming to popularise apprenticeships in Bangladesh and promote their benefits to workers and the economy alike.
The importance of health and safety committees at ready-made garment factories has been highlighted after a worker was killed by a faulty lift system in Bangladesh.
US non-governmental organisation Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) has teamed up with City Bank to launch a research project to analyse the benefits of offering Bangladeshi garment workers electronic wage payments.
Safety improvements at Bangladesh garment factories are part of a complex process which will take years to complete, the Dhaka Apparel Summit was told.
Four RMG companies in Bangladesh have joined a German-led Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, aimed at achieving social, environmental and economic improvements in the sector.
Bangladesh should try to avoid competing on cheap labour in the future and instead move into high-end products, the Dhaka Apparel Summit was told this week.
A new centre of excellence to provide training for Bangladesh apparel workers was officially opened today (7 December).
The first Dhaka Apparel Summit is to take place next week with the objective of opening and furthering dialogue on building responsible supply chains.
The Bangladeshi government has made “noteworthy progress” on factory inspections and labour law reforms, but much remains to be done, says a senior US trade official.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has renewed its call for the government to set up a dedicated ministry for the ready-made garment (RMG) industry.
The explosive growth of the Bangladeshi ready-made garment industry is more likely to be accompanied by accusations of sweatshop exploitation from labour rights activists than praise for the positive opportunities it brings the sector's largely-women workforce.
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