Blog: Leonie BarrieEurope and US make headway on safety pacts

Leonie Barrie | 16 July 2013

Eight weeks after it was revealed that apparel brands and retailers in Europe and North America were heading in different directions in their efforts to improve safety at garment factories in Bangladesh, major developments have emerged from both sides.

The group of 70 retailers and brands that signed up to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh have agreed to inspect all of their supplier factories in the country within the next nine months.

And in North America, the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety - led by Wal-Mart and Gap - has set out details of its new Bangladesh Worker Safety Initiative, a "historic" five-year pact.

But how do the two separate safety pacts measure up? Despite the similarities between the schemes there are a number of differences, including their legal structure, union involvement, and long-term commitment to continue sourcing from Bangladesh. And by limiting inspection programmes to main suppliers only, are their efforts doomed to fail?

Elsewhere, renewed calls are being made for a global ban on the practice of sandblasting denim jeans, after research by labour rights groups found the finishing process is still widespread in China.

And sporting goods firm Adidas has calculated that it produced 1m fewer physical samples over the past three years by using virtual 3D technology to create and share designs.

There was also good news in the US, where same-store sales at apparel retailers continued on an upward trajectory last month. June results saw the biggest gains since January, on the back of an improving labour market, better macroeconomic conditions, falling fuel prices, warmer weather and rising house prices.

But UK retailer Marks & Spencer blamed poor weather and promotions after recording its eighth consecutive quarterly decline in like-for-like clothing and general merchandise sales.


BLOG

Trump trade probe could have costs for cotton

An International Trade Commission hearing got underway last week as part of the Trump administration's probe into China's intellectual property practices under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act. The a...

BLOG

Stop negotiating and bring in the engineers

Surviving in a declining market is the biggest challenge for discount/mass-market retailers and suppliers of commodity products such as basic T-shirts, hoodies or cotton men's shirts – which is why it...

BLOG

The implications of buyer purchasing practices

New research has delved into one relatively underexplored aspect of global supply chains: how buyer purchasing practices impact wages and working conditions....

BLOG

just-style readership survey 2017 – Final reminder

We’re currently carrying out a survey to get a better understanding of the issues that matter the most to our readers, and how we can better serve you in the future. ...

just-style homepage



Forgot your password?