Clean Clothes Campaign launches a public tracker showing which garment brands are advocates of a new strong binding agreement on factory safety and which major brands are an obstacle to progress in the field of worker safety. The tracker calls out major companies such as H&M and Bestseller (Vero Moda, Jack & Jones) for not using their considerable power to ensure that advances on supply chain factory safety are maintained.
“Companies that have failed to push for a new safety agreement are bargaining over workers’ lives. And also the silent majority of smaller Accord signatory brands and brands that produce in Bangladesh and have failed to sign the Accord at all carry responsibility. Any garment brand that sources from Bangladesh and is not actively speaking out in favor of a strong binding agreement on factory safety is showing disregard towards workers’ lives. Brands can make this right by quickly negotiating and signing a strong new agreement in the coming weeks. We are hopeful many brands will sign such an agreement as they have signed the temporary extension after 31 May,” said Christie Miedema, Campaign Coordinator at Clean Clothes Campaign.
Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) reached out to brands and retailers in the Bangladesh Accord to urge them to commit to the main elements of a strong new binding agreement, to show that not all brands and retailers are happy about the delay in reaching a new safety agreement. Eleven apparel companies, including ASOS, UNIQLO, and Esprit, answered that they are eager to sign a new agreement that is legally binding upon individual companies, has independent oversight, and can be expanded to other countries. The brands that the tracker identifies as the barriers to progress on factory safety are those that, despite having the power to make a difference in the process towards a new agreement, has failed to do so. All these companies have considerable power in the process because they have over 75 supplier factories in Bangladesh and/or are directly representing other brands at the negotiation table. Only brands that have agreed to all elements that are crucial for a new life-saving agreement and are not in a direct position to change the course of events are identified on the positive side of the tracker. All brands that have decisive power and have not used this in the past months to ensure a new agreement is ready to be signed are identified on the negative side. We hope these major brands and all other signatory brands will use the upcoming weeks well to ensure that a strong new agreement is signed.