Retailers back Bangladesh safety accord

City A.M. Reporter
THE WORLD’S two biggest fashion retailers, Inditex and H&M, along with several other companies, have backed an accord aimed at preventing another disaster like last month’s collapse at a Bangladesh factory building that killed more than 1,100 people.

As of yesterday, Inditex, H&M, Tesco, Primark, US apparel maker PVH, and Cofra Holding’s C&A announced their support.

The agreement on fire and building safety, which is being led by the International Labour Organisation, trade unions and other lobby groups, has been under negotiation since the Rana Plaza building collapse on 24 April.

Deadly incidents at factories, including a fire in November that killed 112 people, has focused global attention on safety standards in Bangladesh’s booming garment industry, the world’s biggest exporter of clothing after China.

Fashion retailer H&M, which is a major purchaser of garments from Bangladesh but did not use any of the suppliers operating in the collapsed factory, said the five-year accord would add to its already strict requirements for suppliers. Tesco said it would create a fund of £1m to support improvements across the industry in Bangladesh.