PVH Corp. has unveiled plans to commit $1m to improving the conditions in Bangladesh’s garment factories. PVH is one of the world’s largest apparel companies, which owns and markets brands including Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger worldwide.
landmark ‘joint memorandum of understanding’ comes more than a year after a fire that killed 29 workers trapped inside a garment factory in Bangladesh, is with a group of non-governmental organisations consisting of Clean Clothes Campaign, Worker Rights Consortium, The International Labour Rights Forum, and Maquila Solidarity Network, as well as a group of eight international and Bangladeshi trade unions, regarding fire and building safety in Bangladesh’s apparel factories.
PVH is the initial company to commit to this first-of-its-kind program, and has committed up to $1m to underwrite the two-year scheme to be led by multi-stakeholder task force, which will establish in-factory training, facilitate the creation of factory health and safety committees, reviewing existing building regulations and enforcement, developing a worker complaint process, and advise a Chief Inspector.
However the scheme, which will be financed by the participating companies, will only go into effect when at least three other well-known international brand owners or retailers sign onto the agreement. The Gap and Kohl's, two other American companies which also had products within the same factory that caught fire has so far not confirmed any similar safety measures.
Emanuel Chirico, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PVH, said “We hope this agreement will find cooperation from the Bangladesh Manufacturers & Exporters Association, its members and the Bangladeshi Government to put into effect its terms and that it will result in safer factories and establish a benchmark for fire and building safety standards and practices throughout Bangladesh.”
Image: Tommy Hilfiger