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13 Apr 2021

Report links Canadian retailers to Bangladeshi suppliers paying poverty wages & calls on brands to pay a living wage throughout their supply chains

The Steelworkers Humanity Fund’s report,“Not Even the Bare Minimum” explores the wages and living conditions of Bangladesh’s garment sector, which employs a majority of women, making clothes in factories supplying Canadian brands and fashion retailers.

The research, undertaken by a Dhaka-based researcher, identified factories that produce for Canadian brands and retailers, and conducted interviews of 35 workers employed in a sample of nine factories located in the industrial belts surrounding the Bangladeshi capital and the port city of Chittagong.

The report concludes that Canadian garment companies are no different than other global brands as they seek to minimize the cost of production, at the expense of decent work, and calls on Canadian brands to publicly acknowledge that they have a responsibility for workers employed in their supply chains and to make public commitments to paying living wages in Bangladesh and throughout their supply chains.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited 13 brands and suppliers named in the report to respond to the allegations. Canadian Tire Corporation/Mark's, Lululemon, Youngone, Ananta Garments, Patriot Eco Apparels, and Islam Garments Ltd. responded and their responses are available below.

Joe Fresh, Hudson’s Bay, ACS Textiles, Eurotex Knitwear Ltd., Sigma Fashions Ltd., Safaa Sweater Ltd., Standard Stitches Ltd., did not respond.

Company Responses

Joe Fresh (part of Loblaw Companies)

No Response

Hudson's Bay

No Response

Islam Garments Ltd. (Rose) View Response
ACS Textiles Ltd.

No Response

EuroTex Knitwear Ltd.

No Response

Sigma Fashions Ltd.

No Response

Safaa Sweaters Ltd. (Palmal Group)

No Response

Standard Stitches Ltd.

No Response

Canadian Tire View Response
Lululemon Athletica View Response
Youngone View Response
Response from Ananta Garments View Response
Patriot Eco Apparel Ltd. View Response