Following the catastrophic collapse of a garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in April, when more than 1,000 people lost their lives, fashion companies from all over the world have teamed up to ensure that all factories that make their clothes are safe to work in.
In total, 70 fashion companies and brands have agreed to inspect their garment factory suppliers in Bangladesh. The retailers, most of whom are European, include Marks & Spencer, Calvin Klein, H&M and Tommy Hilfiger.
Over the next nine months, all factories which make garments for these companies will be rigorously inspected. Everything from structural flaws and fire safety measures to health and safety training will be looked at, and any factory that is not up to standard will be closed down until it is repaired. The companies have confirmed that workers will still continue to be paid if their factories are closed for repairs.
Andy York, the ethical trading manager for fashion retailer the N Brown Group, which is part of the agreement, commented on the scheme, saying:
“This is the only way to bring about long-term, sustainable change to the garment industry in Bangladesh,”