Blog: Leonie BarrieSense of urgency on factory safety

Leonie Barrie | 13 May 2013

Just two weeks after the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory complex near Dhaka, where the death toll has now risen to over 1,000, another fatal fire at a Bangladesh apparel factory has killed eight people.

The fire at the Tung Hai Sweater company has added a dramatic sense of urgency to efforts to shore up factory safety - with the global union movement calling for Bangladesh to sign up to a binding and enforceable agreement on fire and building safety. Talks on the accord are due to be completed later this week, with the aim of building a sustainable garment industry and empowering workers to refuse dangerous work.

Calculations have also shown that doubling the wages of a worker in Bangladesh would add just 2p to the cost of a T-shirt bought on the UK high street.

For sportswear giant Adidas, one solution being trialled to monitor labour rights at a footwear supplier in Indonesia is the use of mobile phones. Through the system, which is detailed in its latest sustainability report, workers can send a SMS text message and raise the alarm if they are concerned that their rights are being compromised.

And retailer Marks & Spencer is working to update its sourcing and logistics systems after admitting that 20 years of under-investment have led to a sluggish and inconsistent supply chain. The company described this as an area "where M&S has been challenged as it has not necessarily been best in class".

Over in the US, improving weather in late April, combined with rising stock and housing prices, offered some encouragement to clothing retailers as sales gained during the month.

And a planned deepening of trade relations between the European Union and Morocco should streamline customs procedures for the EU clothing and textile industry, whether importing or exporting products from this key north African trading partner.


BLOG

Trump and Brexit generate more confusion

Over the past month, Donald Trump and his team failed to offer any clear plan to ensure Americans would "Buy American, Hire American" - while the British government's attempts to clarify the specifics...

BLOG

Bangladesh works to resolve labour activist issues

The Bangladesh government was forced to respond late last week to pressure over its crackdown on labour activists after a number of global brands and retailers, including H&M and Inditex announced pla...

BLOG

US border tax a contentious issue

Fresh from their disappointment at seeing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal abandoned last month with an executive order by President Donald Trump, the US apparel and footwear sector...

BLOG

Primark's sustainable cotton programme takes shape

With the ultimate aim of ensuring all the cotton in its products is sourced sustainably, value clothing retailer Primark is adamant that having a business model focused on offering the lowest prices o...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?