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Another fire in a clothing factory in Bangladesh on Tuesday shocked Fair Wear Foundation. This tragedy underscores the importance of immediate action to improve building and fire safety in garment factories.
The safety situation in Bangladesh’s garment factories is often poor. FWF and its members are working hard to make changes. “But in this highly complex garment industry solving fire safety problems doesn’t happen overnight”, states FWF’s safety specialist Margreet Vrieling.
Fair Wear Foundation will soon start checking all the factories in Bangladesh where FWF member companies source from. That must be completed within six months and in close cooperation with The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.
Fair Wear Foundation keeps stressing that clothing brands cannot leave improvements to the factories alone. In order for real, sustainable change to take place, European companies will have to do business in a way that supports good labour conditions.
It is too early to name brands that were sourcing in the Aswad Composite Mills where the fire broke out. FWF is currently investigating that. It is clear though that clothing companies who do business with this factory should take their responsibility for remediation and financial compensation.
Being one of the biggest garment producing countries in the world, Bangladesh has high priority within Fair Wear Foundation. Our thoughts are with the victims of the fire in Gazipur and their families.