Blog: Bangladesh factory fire fallout continues
Leonie Barrie | 28 January 2013
As news emerges of yet more deaths in a garment factory fire in Bangladesh at the weekend, the repercussions of the Tazreen Fashion blaze last November, in which 112 people lost their lives, continue to reverberate across the industry.
In a timely comment at the beginning of the week, David Birnbaum argued that the Tazreen fire was the result of at least one customer's decision that minimal working conditions and subsistence wages are not cost-effective. The challenge now, he said, is to find a solution.
The factory had been producing apparel for Wal-Mart - and the retail giant last week outlined plans to enforce a "zero tolerance" policy on unauthorised sub-contracting with suppliers, in a bid to improve safety standards. The US company said it had also made "related ethical sourcing programme enhancements", informing suppliers of the changes via a recently distributed letter.
But whether or not these new policies will make a difference - or even be fully enforced, is open to debate. Industry watchers told just-style that there is "some value" in the announcement if the retailer follows through with its commitments, and that Wal-Mart should be congratulated for its action. But they also say the new rules do not go far enough and that enforcement could be a problem.
just-style also published details of the new guidelines, outlined in a 10-page letter that Wal-Mart sent to its suppliers.
Also stepping into the debate, the European Parliament asked Bangladeshi authorities to put in place health and safety measures to boost factory safety, after a resolution was adopted by MEPs. It will now be sent to authorities including the Bangladesh government and EU Member States.
And labour groups are seeking EUR3m (US$4m) in compensation for the families of victims killed in the Tazreen fire, along with an immediate and transparent investigation into the events leading up to the blaze.
Luxury goods group Kering is taking an innovative approach to understanding – and changing – the environmental footprint of its business by putting a monetary value on the ecological impact racked up ...
Apparel and footwear brands and retailers should be benefiting from tumbling commodity prices, especially for oil and cotton – but many are missing out on significant savings by failing to truly under...
It seems Adidas has been caught napping after Skechers passed the German sporting giant to take its second place in the sports footwear market in the US....
Apparel imports into the US surged in March, as retailers ramped up their imports of spring/summer merchandise and cargo volumes at West Coast ports started to clear. The top three supplier countries ...
- When will Gap get back on track?
- Software solutions enhance speed and visibility
- Jason Denham raises the bar on denim innovation
- Bangladesh factory safety progressing slowly
- Portugal footwear makers underpin industry growth
- Q1 results in brief: Pacific Sunwear, Express
- China to reduce apparel import taxes
- Indonesian textile sector sees 6,000 lay-offs
- Cambodia garment factory strikes up 74%
- Vietnam garment staff return after faintings