American retailer Abercrombie and Fitch, Swedish furniture giant Ikea and the clothing label of rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs are among the brands yet to sign a new accord to uphold the safety of millions of garment workers in Bangladesh.
The pact follows on from the Bangladesh Accord, the largest of the safety agreements signed between brands and unions five years ago after 1,134 garment industry workers were killed in the collapse of the Rana Plaza building on the outskirts of Dhaka.
The accord expired on Thursday, and another similar agreement, the Alliance for Worker Safety, will run out at the end of the year. Under both, factory owners were made to improve the structural and fire safety of their buildings in order to keep supplying to major western brands.
So far about 176 of the 220 companies in the Accord have signed its extension including H&M, Zara and Primark. But the shortfall means about 250 factories supplying to western brands would no longer be monitored under the scheme, according to Rob Wayss, the executive director of the Accord.
They include factories supplying to Abercrombie and Fitch, the British retailer Edinburgh Wool Mills and Sean Comb’s label Sean John. Abercrombie did not respond to questions. Edinburgh Wool Mills has been contacted and Sean John could not be reached.
Campaigners have also called on Ikea to sign up to the new accord which, unlike its predecessor, is also open to non-garment companies producing textiles in Bangladesh.