There's been a fair amount of consumer outcry, shock, and horror since news broke of a recent factory collapse in Bangladesh with a still-rising death toll in the hundreds. But has anything been done about it? While it's still a mystery which brands were involved with the facility (and that may be because the brands themselves were unaware), it doesn't look like there will be the accountability we wish there was after an incident of such high human cost. Sadly, that's pretty typical of these all-too-common tragedies in countries where cheap labor is exploited en masse. But at least a few brands are doing something about it.
Primark, a British company, has released the following statement after discovering that the factory was part of its supply chain: “Primark will also pay compensation to the victims of this disaster who worked for its supplier. This will include the provision of long-term aid for children who have lost parents, financial aid for those injured, and payments to the families of the deceased.” Joe Fresh's parent company Loblaw will also contribute, saying “Our priorities are helping the victims and their families, and driving change to help prevent similar incidents in the future," as well as U.K. retailer Matalan. This comes after a petition with nearly 65,000 signatures urging brands to help the victims and their families circled around the globe in the wake of the disaster.
Mango, which was also named in the petition, has not come forward. And while what these brands are doing is great, none of them have yet signed the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement. That's a measure that could go a long way towards not only preventing tragedies like this in the future, but also setting an example for other Western big-name brands. If you agree, make sure you keep making your voice heard even as time passes after the accident: After all, if the customer is really king, these brands will someday realize that not only is this the moral high road, it's also a PR necessity. (Fashionista)