Major Fast Fashion Brands Pull Out Of Dhaka Apparel Summit

by: Rosie Dalton | 2 years ago | News

Image: Zara SS17 campaign, photographed by Steven Meisel. Image source.

The Dhaka Apparel Summit has just taken place in Bangladesh and, as The Fashion Law reports, five global retail brands decided to pull the pin at the last minute. The retailers – H&M, Zara's parent company Inditex, C&A, Next and Tchibo — reportedly cited “concerns over a crackdown on unions demanding better pay in textile factories," but have failed to take any sort of decisive action when it comes to their own supply chains in Bangladesh.

All five retailers source garments and accessories from Bangladeshi factories, so were originally planning to attend the summit — which aims to help position the country as a tried and trusted name in the global apparel market. According to The Clean Clothes Campaign — a Netherlands-based global alliance of trade unions and NGOs — the brands' "unprecedented" decision to pull out of the event "underscores growing international concern over the deterioration of labor rights in the Bangladesh garment industry."

Swedish fast fashion giant H&M, for example, confirmed that it had pulled out because it felt that attending "would create confusion and send the wrong signals regarding our commitment to freedom of association." This comes amid concerns over the detention of trade unionists and advocates of workers rights, following protests for better pay in December.

However, not attending isn’t really enough to send the positive message that companies like H&M are aiming for. If they really wanted to take a stance against worker relations in Bangladesh, then wouldn't it be more effective to pull manufacturing from the factories failing to observe basic human and workers' rights?

Given that this year’s event was slated to feature discussions "targeted at establishing a more sustainable apparel supply chain with the specific aim of creating a better future together,” we can’t help but wonder whether some of the brands that withdrew from the summit may have also had other motives at play here.

Via The Fashion Law

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