Blog: Fabric mill fire fuels puts new spotlight on safety
Leonie Barrie | 14 October 2013
The safety of Bangladesh's textile and garment industry has been called into question again after at least seven people were killed last week in a fire at a fabric mill. More than 50 people were also injured in the blaze at Aswad Composite Mills Limited, part of the Palmal Group.
Retailers and brands including George at Asda, H&M, Next, Gap, Primark, Carrefour, Loblaw and Hudson's Bay Company have told just-style they are investigating - but are keen to make the distinction they had no direct contact with the facility even though its fabrics might have been used in their products.
The latest tragedy has led to renewed calls for efforts to ensure safe conditions in the country's garment sector - as well as questions on the extent to which audits need to be carried out further down the supply chain.
As a fabric supplier, Aswad Composite Mills was not listed in the nearly 1,600 factories used by signatories to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh - and as such would not be included in the current inspection plan.
Whether the on-going labour unrest, political turmoil and factory safety issues will weigh on Bangladesh's garment exports remains to be seen. While a new assessment expects a slowdown, the latest export figures tell a different story, showing a surge of 24% in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.
New forecasts for cotton prices this season have also been released, putting them on a par with last year and reflecting higher world stocks and lower consumption estimates.
While senior figures within the global cotton industry are considering promoting sales of their fibre proactively for the first time, as price shifts are allowing synthetics to seize more market share.
In its quest to improve the sustainability of its business, the latest milestones achieved by Crystal Group's Yida jeans making facility highlight its progress in reducing the carbon footprint of each garment made.
And lacklustre back-to-school sales, warmer than average temperatures, waning consumer confidence, worries over a government shutdown, and stagnant wage growth all combined to give another mixed sales bag for US apparel retailers in September.
For Fifth & Pacific Companies change is also afoot after the apparel firm agreed to sell Juicy Couture to Authentic Brands Group for US$195m. The move enables it to focus on the popular Kate Spade line - and if the industry rumour mill has it right, could soon be a single brand company.
Continuing our look at what lies ahead for the apparel industry and its supply chain in 2017, the panel of industry experts consulted by just-style last week tackled likely shifts in the sourcing land...
This week our focus turns to first thoughts from a panel of industry experts consulted by just-style on the challenges and opportunities likely to face the apparel supply chain in 2017, with prospects...
Welcome back after the holiday break, and from the team here at just-style I’d like to wish all our readers a happy and prosperous New Year....
Apparel sourcing is a complex process built on a mix of location, logistics, lead-time, price, compliance, risk and reliability. And it's in a constant state of flux as retailers, brands and manufactu...
- Trump and the apparel industry – Infographic
- How US border adjustment tax could affect apparel
- $1.7bn package to boost Pakistan clothing exports
- British Brexit plans prioritise tariff-free trade
- Mexico riots hit apparel retailers and shipments
- Cambodia clothing exports at risk from Brexit
- Apparel brands urge Bangladesh PM to address wages
- MAS Holdings planning second industrial park
- American Apparel to shutter all stores?
- Better compliance "crucial" for Bangladesh growth
- Outdoor performance apparel 2016: A broader perspective
- Anti-odour clothing: fresh fashion for an active lifestyle
- Global apparel markets: product developments and innovations, October 2016
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Global market review of lingerie – forecasts to 2022