Blog: New pressure for worker safety
Leonie Barrie | 4 February 2013
Calls for retailers and brands to take steps to ensure the safety of workers making their clothes have been stepped up again following yet more deaths in a garment factory fire in Bangladesh.
At least seven workers were killed in a blaze at the unlicensed Smart Export Garment factory in Dhaka last weekend - just two months after 112 people lost their lives in another apparel factory fire in Bangladesh.
As well as new pressure from labour rights groups and the global trade union federation, the European Commission has also urged the Bangladesh authorities to take immediate action. Bangladesh benefits from preferential access to the EU market, which is also its largest trade partner - but the EU is "deeply concerned" about the country's labour conditions, it says.
Spanish retail group Inditex has suspended two suppliers after it appears they were illegally subcontracting to Smart Export Garment. Apparel for the firm's Bershka and Lefties brands - as well as those for other European retailers - was found at the site.
Over at H&M Hennes & Mauritz, concerns that Uzbek cotton is getting into its supply chain have prompted the fashion retailer to take a tough stance with its suppliers. As well as asking them to sign a commitment that their cotton does not come from Uzbekistan, it has also encouraged one of its suppliers to buy out a stake owned by Korean conglomerate Daewoo.
While Europe is being eyed as a key market for Colombia's clothing export sector as it aims to diversify its sales away from a reliance on the US and neighbouring South American countries.
Two separate calls came last week urging the various safety initiatives in Bangladesh to work more closely to coordinate their efforts - and for more input from the Bangladeshi government if the work ...
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 ...
US retailers ramped up stocks for the start of the back-to-school season in July, pushing apparel imports for the month up by 13.4%, according to the latest data. But while China and Vietnam were the ...
US retail giant Gap Inc has made no secret of the fact that it faced - and continues to face - a number of compliance issues linked to its decision to start sourcing garments from Myanmar/Burma....
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