Joe Fresh signs accord to protect Bangladeshi factory workers

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Joe Fresh made a pledge today (May 14) to improve the safety of workers in Bangladeshi garment factories. The Canadian clothing company owned by Loblaw Companies Limited is one of more than a dozen international apparel brands to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh ahead of its May 15 deadline.

The Accord states that clothing companies must establish a fire and building safety program in collaboration with the National Action Plan on Safety that covers a period of five years. Additionally, the companies must ensure that no factory worker is in danger of fire, building collapses, or preventable accidents.

"This decision reflects the company’s pledge to stay in Bangladesh and underscores its firm belief that active collaboration by retail and manufacturing industries, government, and non-governmental organization, is critical to driving effective and lasting change in Bangladesh," reads a statement on Joe Fresh's Facebook page. "The Accord aligns with and addresses the company’s commitments to a new standard that all of its control brand products must be made in facilities that respect local construction and building codes."

Other apparel companies that have signed the Accord include fast-fashion brands Zara, H&M, Topshop, Primark, Tesco, and PVH, which produces clothing for designer labels Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein.

In April, a garment factory in Bangladesh that makes clothes for Joe Fresh collapsed, killing over 1,000 workers. 

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