Already 31 chains promise “clean clothes” from Bangladesh | RetailDetail

Already 31 chains promise “clean clothes” from Bangladesh

Already 31 chains promise “clean clothes” from Bangladesh

Dozens of clothing chains have signed the Clean Clothes charter for Bangladesh, but some of the major brands are missing. Meanwhile a new disaster in Cambodia makes it painfully clear there still is a lot of work to be done.

31 chains sign enforceable charter

Trade union IndustriALL Global Union had made the fashion industry an ultimatum: clothing retailers got until midnight on Wednesday to agree with their charter to improve security in Bengal factories.

 

31 chains had signed the enforceable “Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh” before that deadline, agreeing on independent inspections of factories, access for unions and the formation of safety committees. The charter also guarantees the right of employees to refuse work in certain circumstances. The brands have also declared to be prepared to pay for renovations on factories of subcontractors.

 

The signing of the two largest clothing groups in the world earlier this week have certainly sped up the process. Since then a number of chains have joined: PVH (Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein), Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Primark, El Corte Inglés, Mango, Carrefour, Aldi, Benetton, WE Group, Esprit, Lidl, Abercrombie & Fitch and more.

 

American brands lag behind

“It is historic that so many brands have signed a legally binding agreement that puts workers first”, says Ben Vanpeperstraete of Clean Clothes Campaign. “This accord promises fundamental changes in the Bengal clothing industry. It is a shame however that the American brands are not following the European ones”, by which he refers to among other Gap and Walmart.

 

“We at Clean Clothes Campaign have first approached the big chains that at least worked at a European level. Because the accord needs a big scale, it was important they signed first, before we went to the big players”, Vanpeperstraete continues.

 

Still work to do

The enthusiasm about the agreement was overshadowed by the fact that terms agreed upon are not always followed. For example, the victims of the factory fire in Tazreen (November 2012) are still waiting for the compensation that was promised.

 

The negotiations with Primark about compensation for the Rana Plaza disaster are also at a dead end: “I'm disappointed and also angry," said Amirul Haque Amin, head of the National Garment Workers' Federation. "It has been two weeks and I expected after the meeting to hear from them within three or four days."

 

The problem is not only situated in Bangladesh, say the NGOs. In countries such as Pakistan, Indonesia, Cambodia and Burma people are also still working in dire conditions.

 

That once again became painfully clear, when Wednesday the roof of a shoe factory collapsed in Cambodia. Three people were killed and at least six injured. According to the first information the factory was making shoes for Japanese producer ASICS. In Cambodia the textile and shoe factories are the biggest employers, worth 65,000 jobs. Last year the sector brought in 3.7 billion dollar.

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors


Multinationals fail their healthy food claims

24/05/2018

Food multinationals are not doing enough to make their products more healthy, according to Access to Nutrition Foundation. NestléUnilever and Danone are top of the class.

Ahold Delhaize launches digital lab in the United States

22/05/2018

Ahold Delhaize’s American division will found a new company focused on digital innovation: Peapod Digital Labs will become a lab for new digital, eCommerce and personalization strategies. 

Carrefour forced to shut down hundreds of Dia stores

22/05/2018

Carrefour has not found a buyer for hundreds of its former Dia stores in France yet. That may force nearly 230 stores to shut down.

Carrefour and Tencent launch high-tech store in Shanghai

22/05/2018

The recently launched ‘Le Marché’ store formula, a first collaboration between Carrefour and Tencent, allows customers to pay with face recognition at unmanned checkouts.

Hoegaarden moves part of production to Vietnam and China

18/05/2018

Hoegaarden experiences strong growth in Asia, but is losing ground in Europe. That is why AB InBev will move part of the production to China and Vietnam: the brewery in Hoegaarden will lower cut its production days by 2 a week.

Holland & Barrett wants vegan stores

17/05/2018

British health chain Holland & Barrett (previously known in the Benelux as Essenza) plans to open completely vegan stores, a trend the chain needs to follow according to CEO Peter Aldis.