We work with two cut and sew facilities in Bangladesh, one of which is in the Chittagong Export Zone. As per our ongoing ASSESSMENT PROCESS, inspections of the facility was completed in September 2013 and the facility is assessed against our VCOE requirements annually. Assessments are carried out by our in-house team with a third-party assessment company. Following an investigation, we are also working to improve conditions in KSI, a facility where we currently do not have orders. You can find an update on our remediation work in the KSI facility here.
Following the April 2013 Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh, two industry-led initiatives were created to address fire and building safety: the Accord on Fire and Building Safety and the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. The intent of both agreements is to raise the standard for conducting business in Bangladesh, which we believe in. However, at the time we had decided not to sign on to either agreement because we have put the Accord and Alliance’s principles into practice through our Vendor Code of Ethics program.
Our VCoE applies to all countries where our products are manufactured, including Bangladesh, to help ensure that our partners follow a single set of policies, regardless of legal and cultural differences.
Our VCoE was developed based on industry-recognized best practices and has tools that guides facility assessments. It addresses fire and building safety in addition to many other elements related to employee health and safety. Some examples of what other elements it includes are: wages, working hours, employee health and safety, benefits and more. We have a comprehensive set of fire and building safety requirements in our VCOE and have worked with a third party consultant to enhance our approach.