Uniqlo latest to sign Bangladesh deal, other brands set to step up
Bangladesh Accord on Building Fire Safety Countdown.
The Accord has become a landmark position on the safety of garment workers, signed in 2013 following the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory that killed more than 1,100 garment workers.
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Since Thursday, more and more fashion brands – the latest being Japanese retailer Uniqlo – have stepped up grassroots efforts to strengthen and reintroduce the Accord, which expires on August 31, 2021. The Accord was originally approaching of its expiration in May, but public pressure from activists, brands and organizations justified a last-minute three-month extension to continue negotiations over the legally binding enforcement, which has provided millions of garment workers safer working conditions.
The status of the Accord has broader implications for the state of supply today. Destinations like China, India, Malaysia and Pakistan – all countries without legally binding and enforceable clothing factory safety regulations – remain popular sourcing destinations for fast fashion.
As with its PayUp Fashion tracker which was launched amid the pandemic to incentivize repairs on canceled or delayed clothing orders, Remake’s Accord brand tracker integrates field data from the Clean Clothes Campaign. The non-profit organization’s latest campaign highlights brands – including Adidas, PVH Corp. (Tommy Hilfiger), Bestseller, Mango, Marks & Spencer, Primark, Zara and H&M – who have yet to officially sign a successor deal to the Accord. .
A dozen brands have pledged to renew or expand the Accord so far, including Asos, G-Star, Esprit, Uniqlo and S. Oliver, as shown in the nonprofit Remake’s live follow-up for human rights.
Specifically, brands support an extension of the Agreement that is legally enforceable on individual brands, maintains independent oversight, and can be extended to other countries.
Some brands have communicated statements of intent via email, including Zara’s parent company, Inditex, but the organizers of Remake say the statements aren’t enough “until the ink is dry on a new deal.” OK “.
Noting that fashion brands have learned little from Rana Plaza, Ayesha Barenblat, CEO and Founder of Remake, said, “The Accord is the most successful deal to keep manufacturers safe given its binding nature. It is time for the American brands, in particular PVH and American Eagle Outfitters, to strengthen themselves as Asos, G-Star, Esprit and Uniqlo have done and agreed to renew and expand the Accord.
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