Focus Area: Workers
Fire & Building Safety
It is important to us that factories manufacturing our products are safe workplaces and that the workers feel secure and confident speaking up about any safety concern they may have.
In response to the RANA Plaza incident in 2013, the Bangladesh Accord on Fire & Building safety (the Accord) was formed as an agreement between the international unions IndustriAll and UNI Global Union and more than 200 apparel brands and retailers with the aim of making fire and structural improvements in the Bangladeshi ready-made garments industry. BESTSELLER is a signatory of this Accord, and over the last four years, we have worked with the Accord to make gradual improvements at the factories manufacturing our products.
In July 2017, we signed an agreement to work for another three-year period with the Accord to continue making improvements in our Bangladeshi supply chain. The new Accord, which takes effect from May 2018, builds on learnings from the previous Accord and aims to make more long-term sustainable improvements, including establishment of elected safety committees in all factories and promotion of freedom of association.
The Accord is a supplement to our own work at the factories. Our local sustainability teams work in close collaboration with our suppliers to make long-term sustainable improvements, and third party auditors check that factories are in compliance with our standards.
In 2013, we also entered into a partnership with the Danish government, NGOs and other textile companies in Denmark to improve the general conditions at textile factories in Bangladesh. Through this partnership, the Danish Ethical Trading Initiative established a Social Dialogue project with the aim of promoting better workplace social dialogue by facilitating training for workers and management. BESTSELLER joined this project and afterwards, we have continued enrolling more factories in the project and started the process of integrating workplace social dialogue as a part of our Social Engagement Programme with suppliers in Bangladesh and India.