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15 Major Retailers That Haven’t Signed the Bangladesh Safety Agreement

Aéropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Carter's, The Children's Place, Foot Locker, Forever 21, Gap, JCPenney, Kohl's, Macy's, Sears, Target, The North Face, Uniqlo, Fast Retailing, Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement, Accord on Fire and Building Safety, Bangladesh, workers rights, human rights, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, Rana Plaza, sweatshops, sweatshop workers, sweatshop labor, forced labor, fast fashion, corporate social responsibility

Photo by Northfoto/Shutterstock

GAP

While competitors such as H&M, Mango, and Zara have committed themselves to financing vital safety upgrades in Bangladesh, Gap has held back, even going so far as to create an entire website to defend its decision not to join the pact. Labor advocates claim that Gap wants to remove a provision that makes the accord legally binding, rendering it unenforceable.

Labor advocates claim that Gap wants to remove a provision that makes the accord legally binding, rendering it unenforceable.

“Gap says it will sign the agreement, as long as it isn’t binding,” says Rob Wohl, a campaigner with SumofUs.org. “That’s ridiculous. Even the rest of the garment industry acknowledges that corporate-controlled codes of conduct have failed and that legally binding safety standards are necesssary to ensure that the clothes we buy aren’t made in death traps.

Aéropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Carter's, The Children's Place, Foot Locker, Forever 21, Gap, JCPenney, Kohl's, Macy's, Sears, Target, The North Face, Uniqlo, Fast Retailing, Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement, Accord on Fire and Building Safety, Bangladesh, workers rights, human rights, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, Rana Plaza, sweatshops, sweatshop workers, sweatshop labor, forced labor, fast fashion, corporate social responsibility

WALMART

Despite Walmart’s perceived—and hastily denied—role in the Tazreen Fashions factory fire that killed 112 workers in November, along with revelations that it played a key role in blocking a proposal to have global retailers help their Bangladesh suppliers improve their electrical and fire safety, the world’s largest retailer has continued to resist signing any legally enforceable agreements.

Walmart says it has drafted its own plan for improving safety at garment factories.

Instead, Walmart says it has drafted its own plan—including the establishment of an Environmental Health and Safety Academy in Bangladesh—for improving safety at garment factories. The company says it will conduct its own safety inspections at all 279 of the factories it works with in Bangladesh.

“Walmart believes its safety plan meets or exceeds the plan put forth by other manufacturers,” the company said in a statement earlier this month, adding that its strategy “will get results more quickly.”

Aéropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Carter's, The Children's Place, Foot Locker, Forever 21, Gap, JCPenney, Kohl's, Macy's, Sears, Target, The North Face, Uniqlo, Fast Retailing, Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement, Accord on Fire and Building Safety, Bangladesh, workers rights, human rights, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, Rana Plaza, sweatshops, sweatshop workers, sweatshop labor, forced labor, fast fashion, corporate social responsibility

FAST RETAILING

Fast Retailing, Asia’s largest clothing retailer, says it hasn’t decided if it will join the Bangladesh safety accord. Neither does the company, which owns the Uniqlo clothing chain, have a timeline for making a decision, according to the Wall Street Journal on Monday. Like Walmart, the company says it will opt for its own safety-improvement plans for the factories it employs, including new mandates for regular and stricter fire and disaster drills.

Fast Retailing says it will opt for its own safety-improvement plans for the factories it employs.

“We want to first focus on what we can do right now, on our own,” says Yukihiro Nitta, head of Fast Retailing’s corporate social responsibility group.

UPDATE: Fast Retailing signed the accord on August 8, 2013.

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6 Responses to “15 Major Retailers That Haven’t Signed the Bangladesh Safety Agreement”

  1. sra_guadalajara says:

    I see that target is on that list and that there are target banner ads all over this site. Something needs to be done about that.

  2. benEville says:

    One reason I can think of that United States Retailers might not want to sign this is that they will be sued, even for small things that they could not control. how many people have ever tried to control something in another city much less another country? Just think of how much they might have to pay if a building that is up to the local code burns down because some one there blocks a door (how do you stop that without being there 24/7?)and most of that money will not go to the families of the poor workers it will go to U.S law firms.

  3. Brunowolf says:

    Many of the clothing retailers are doing what they have always done, they have no regard for social responsibility only their bottom line. Maybe some of these retailers will go belly up like Sears and JCP. The stores geared to the under 21 crowd are just plain ignorant as their clientel. Self serving morons.

  4. Seemab Faheem says:

    I hope that the abstainers stick to their reasoning and commitments to contribute on their own for improvement of safety in their supplier factories. People will be watching over this matter for sure.

  5. gtce13 says:

    @sra_guadalajara : The website does not control what ads are displayed. The ads are more likely based on data collected from you to determine what you may like / are interested in.

  6. jenk264 says:

    Who had clothing made at the factories where the one collapsed and the previous one caught fire? There are places to buy clothing online that are made in America. You can find socks(Wigwam), blue jeans (American Clothing) and everything else if you just google it. Wigwam socks are sold at Dunham’s Sports and other places. Other things must be bought online.

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