In an industry first, more than 90 international apparel brands, retailers, and manufacturers operating in Bangladesh have made public a list of the 1,566 factories they use as part of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. Unveiled Wednesday by IndustriAll Global Union, one of the trade organizations that initiated the safety pact in the aftermath of the deadly Rana Plaza building collapse in April, the list accounts for roughly a third of all garment factories in Bangladesh’s $20 billion industry. It also covers more than 2 million employees under the auspices of the legally binding contract, which includes signatories such as Benetton, Inditex (parent company of Zara), H&M, and Primark.
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“This is not merely a list of factory names; it includes crucial information on the physical structure of factories,” says Sean Ansett, the accord’s interim executive director. “These data points provide an unprecedented map of the Bangladesh apparel industry covered by the accord and are playing a key role in prioritizing factories for safety inspections.”
“This is not merely a list of factory names; it includes crucial information on the physical structure of factories,” says Sean Ansett.
The data points include each factory’s name and address, the number of stories of each structure, whether a building includes multiple apparel factories and whether it houses other types of businesses, the number of workers at each factory, and the number of accord signatories using each factory.
Ansett says additional data points will be disclosed as more information is gathered from signatories and that. And because the most recent signatories have yet to disclose their lists, the total number of factories will continue to grow.
The accord will also be announcing shortly the hiring of its chief safety inspector, who will oversee the initiative’s factory inspection and renovation program.