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21 Apr 2016

Debbie Coulter, Ethical Trading Initiative

Fast fashion is crucial to Bangladesh. So what’s changed since the Rana Plaza disaster?

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So what’s happened since then? Has the situation improved? And what lessons have been learnt...

It’s safe to say that Rana Plaza and the less well publicised Tazreen fashion factory fire that left over 100 dead in 2012, acted as wake-up calls to the garment industry...They galvanised global companies and brands to address the systemic health, safety and labour issues that riddled the industry...But here are two main issues:

  • Addressing occupational health and safety.
  • Promoting worker rights including freedom of association.

Strong health and safety provision. Decent wages. Better terms and conditions of employment. Freedom of association. They all have to be delivered. That’s going to take more time and effort. And most importantly it’s going to take even more collaboration...Between local factory owners and their workforce, with global brands and companies, and in partnership with strong trade unions and committed local NGOs.

Part of the following timelines

Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety Releases Factories List & Board Approves Fire and Building Safety Standards - Committee of Experts Appointed to Oversee Initiative Implementation

Rana Plaza two years on: Progress, but compensation and workers' rights still lacking

3 years on from Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh - little improvements in health & safety conditions

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh

Rana Plaza building collapse, April 2013