Many garment brands have their clothes made in factories in Bangladesh. Until a few years ago, many of these factories were no more than death traps. A safety programme, in which over 200 brands participate, has since 2013 been working to make those factories into safe workplaces. This programme however ends in May and only a half of the brands that were part of the programme before have signaled that they will stay involved. Is your favourite brand respecting their workers and does it care about their lives? Check out our list of who did and did not sign the 2018 Bangladesh Safety Accord here.
When in 2013 the Rana Plaza building collapsed – killing 1,134 workers – it was clear that something needed to change to address the notoriously unsafe Bangladesh garment industry. Only a few weeks later the Bangladesh Safety Accord was launched. In the past few years, the Accord has carried out inspections, overseen repairs and trained workers in the field of safety covering over 1,600 factories supplying more than 200 brands. This programme is due to end on 15 May 2018. A new Transition Accord is ready to take over, but it needs commitment from brands to be able to continue its work and to protect as many workers as possible. There is no other credible way to keep workers in Bangladesh safe, whatever brands say.
UK brands in particular have been slow to respond. We are calling on Debenhams and Sainsburys to sign the 2018 Accord and make a commitment to their workers.
Will you help give Debenhams and Sainsburys a little encouragement to sign? We are planning a week of ‘brand hustle’ to nudge them over the line. Every day next week from 16th April we will send you a small action you can take to pile on the pressure, including facebook page swamping, phone calling, complaining, tweeting, and petitioning. Click on the button below and add your name to get next steps. Can’t wait? Sign the petition.
Tuesday 24th April is also the 5th anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster, and to mark this day, we are calling an online vigil (more details for how to participate to follow). Making sure that workers who gave their lives making our clothes are never forgotten is a vital part of our activism. We hope you agree.