Bangladesh Disaster Forces Global Brands into Transparency

May 16, 2013 9:00 AM ET

After the deadliest industrial disaster in history in Bangladesh, Global Brands are now signing in to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety published by the Worker Rights Consortium.  The accord covers all suppliers producing products for signatory companies, who will be legally obliged to ensure their suppliers stick to the standards to ensure safety.

The worlds largest apparel producer in Bangladesh, H&M has signed on with nearly 30 others, including Zara, Benetton, and Topshop, but others Wal-Mart, Sears, and Kmart are refusing to sign. 

Instead, these clothing makers are creating their own safety proposals.  Wal-Mart has taken the lead and released a list for nearly 250 factories that it has determined to be unsafe, as well as how they will promote safety in Bangladesh.

Now that stakeholder pressure is forcing retailers to assume a new level of transparency, consumers want to know if it will be enough to ensure safety protocols are met in the future.  What will happen if companies simply stop sourcing from blacklisted factories?  Will others jump at the chance to negotiate a cheap deal with a factory that was blacklisted?

One thing is certain: supply chain transparency is critical in protecting the rights of workers, consumers, and retailers and is the most important step in preventing such horrendous disasters from ever occurring again. 

Find out more about how to ensure your supply chain transparency and reduce risk HERE.