Specialty Fashion Group, whose labels include Katies, Millers, City Chic, Crossroads, Stylefix and Autography, has become the fifth Australian company to join the Bangladesh Safety Accord.
The Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Accord has been designed to improve the safety of Bangladeshi garment workers. It has so far been signed by more than 80 global retailers, including Target, Kmart, Forever New and Cotton On.
Oxfam Australia corporate accountability and Fair Trade adviser Daisy Gardener said other Australian companies should follow suit to SFG.
“With five major Australian clothing retailers now signed up to this important safety process, we are at a loss to understand why Woolworths (Big W), the Just Group (Just Jeans, Jay Jays), Best and Less, Rivers, and Pacific Brands (Bonds, Berlei) have not yet joined the Accord,” she said.
“When more than 1,100 people died in the Rana Plaza collapse in April, it became clear that immediate action was needed to ensure the safety of Bangladeshi garment workers. It has now been three months since the collapse and we need to see immediate action by Australian retailers.”
Oxfam Australia is also urging Australian garment companies to follow Kmart’s lead by publicly revealing the addresses of all supplier factories. Once Kmart publishes its supplier list, it will be possible for independent groups to verify wages and other conditions for workers in all countries where the company is sourcing.