H&M Supplier Factories in Bangladesh Behind in Safety Fixes: Report

by Keith Wagstaff /

The fight for labor rights

Aug. 25, 201400:49

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H&M is "dramatically behind schedule" in fixing the dangers found in the factories of its Bangladeshi suppliers, according to a new report.

H&M was one of more than 200 brands, including Adidas and Abercrombie & Fitch, who signed an accord to improve safety conditions in factories in Bangladesh after the Rana Plaza building collapse in 2013 killed more than 1,100 people.

The companies agreed to require their suppliers to make safety renovations, as well as to provide money for improvements and to stop doing business with factories that failed to meet new safety standards.

A report released last week by the Clean Clothes Campaign, a workers' rights organization, found that 53 percent of H&M's preferred suppliers were behind schedule when it came to most safety renovations.

Out of 32 "Gold" and "Platinum" factories (which make the majority of H&M's clothes in Bangladesh), none were completely up-to-date on renovations, according to the report. Nearly 61 percent of them had fire-rated doors and staircase enclosures that were yet to be installed, the report said.

Related: Owner of Collapsed Bangladesh Factory That Killed 1,100 to Face Murder Charges

In response, H&M issued a statement on Tuesday saying that internal reviews found "good progress" and that delays with fire doors and sprinklers were caused by "import delays since none of these products are available in Bangladesh."

Overall, H&M said, 60 percent of the necessary renovations had taken place, and that the company would continue to supports its suppliers by "improving and upgrading their production facilities," which would allow them to "become competitive in a sustainable way."

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