Responsibility in the Supply Chain
In light of the recent Bangladesh garment factory collapse, FAIR’s team members will be posting about some of their thoughts here on our blog over the next few weeks.
This week Amelia Glynn shares some of her thoughts on responsibility in the garment industry:
The recent collapse of a garment factory in Bangladesh producing Primark, Mango and Matalan clothing amongst other brands has brought some much needed media attention to the irresponsibility of the fashion industry.
The question we ask today is who is responsible?
Is it the factory owners who are in hiding; the owners who knew about cracks in the building days before hand but decided not to halt production? Or is it the companies that hire the factory owners to produce clothing on absurdly tight deadlines? What about the people who buy the clothes; you and me, the consumers?
Most highstreet fashion brands do not own the factories that produce their garments. They outsource to countries with cheap labour to whichever factory can produce the garments for the lowest price. This way fashion brands claim no responsibility for the working conditions and wages of the staff producing their clothes.
But does this really let them off the hook? Just because they don’t personally over see the conditions their clothes are created in does not mean they are not responsible for them. By maintaining stronger links with the factories and paying a higher price for production, big brands like Primark and Mango could avoid serious disasters like this most recent tragedy.
Ethical brands such as People Tree and Fairly Covered both create garments and textiles in Bangladesh but strictly enforce and over see high welfare standards and fair wages. Why should we not demand the same from our multi-million pound highstreet chains?
We strongly encourage you to sign the petition to call on Primark, Mango and Matalan to sign the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement to prevent any future deaths for garment workers.
Demand more from your fashion brands.