Blog: Sense 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.
Confirmation that digital supply chains are top of mind for apparel industry executives came last week with the latest plans from global sourcing specialist Li & Fung....
As a barometer of the issues top of mind for apparel sourcing executives, it is hard to beat the annual Prime Source Forum in Hong Kong. ...
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...
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...
- Using worker surveys to drive supply chain change
- Trump and Brexit get a dose of pragmatism
- Rana Plaza four years on – Timeline of change
- No US rush to Myanmar despite end to sanctions
- Where does VF supply chain sit in growth strategy?
- Amazon wins on-demand apparel manufacturing patent
- Driving ban intensifies Myanmar logistics hurdles
- Trump bolsters "buy American" with executive order
- Inditex, Adidas and Patagonia top ethical report
- Calls for supply chain transparency standard
- Global market review of denim and jeanswear – forecasts to 2022
- When Things Go Wrong - A Practical Guide to Managing Common Problems in Apparel Sourcing
- Myanmar - ISA Country Report
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Clothing Market in the Top 5 American Countries to 2021 - Market Size, Development, and Forecasts