Rana Plaza, Five Years On

We look at transparency in the Fashion Industry, five years on from the worst garment factory disaster in history. 

Five years ago today, the world's worst garment factory disaster happened in Bangladesh, killing 1135 people. The factory produced clothes for major international brands. Rana Plaza Day was set up as an annual global day of action to remember the victims. 

The building took less than 90 seconds to collapse, despite pleas from workers that it was not a safe place to work. 

The Accord Renewal

The Bangladesh Accord is a legally binding accord that promised to uphold new safety stands for workers. 220 companies signed the original Accord, after thousands of people put pressure on retailers to take responsibility for its garment workers. 

In May it is being renewed and so far 152 global brands have signed the new 2018 accord. That's two thirds of the original signatories. These include Primark, H&M, Zara, John Lewis, Marks and Spencer and Matalan. 

Brands like Debenhams, Next and Sainsbury’s were slow to sign up to the renewal and it wasn’t until SumofUs led a mass consumer campaign calling on the brands to commit to the new safety standards that they signed the new accord last week.

German sportswear brand Puma is one of the biggest brands still to sign.

Brands that have NOT signed the 2018 Accord >

Image: Who made your clothes? collage for fashion revolution week

Rana Plaza Day is part of a wider week of action called Fashion Revolution week which is taking place now (23-29 April). It calls for a revolution in the fashion industry so that people or the planet are no longer exploited. The global movement asks consumers to contact brands and pose a simple question #whomademyclothes.

Ethical Brands for a Fashion Revolution

As part of Fashion Revolution Week, independent clothing brands will come together to promote an ethical alternative to fast fashion brands. 

Our lead researcher, Heather Webb, who wrote our fashion report will be speaking at the event on transparency of clothing brands and if we have seen an improvement in the last five years. 

This free event is happening at the Museum of Brands in London on Saturday 28 April.

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