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Edinburgh Woollen Mill rejects BBC Bangladesh claims

Edinburgh Woollen Mill has denied the claims made in a BBC Panorama, broadcast earlier this week, saying it has evidence that “unequivocally” proves it never used the Tazreen factory that burned down late last year.

EWM has long been called to respond to claims that garments found in the Bangladesh factory after the fire, which killed 117 and injured more than 200, but has always insisted it was not using that premises.

In a statement issued by the company today, EWM’s commercial director Steve Simpson said: “The Edinburgh Woollen Mill has not manufactured the products suggested by the BBC on the Panorama TV Programme ‘Dying for a Bargain’ and has evidence to prove unequivocally that those garments displayed were never manufactured in the Tazreen factory. 

“In addition to this, the Tazreen factory was never equipped to be able to produce the garments displayed in the programme.”

He added: “The company is very disappointed and aggrieved by the unqualified comments made by the BBC.”

EWM is now in communication with the BBC’s complaints department.

Simpson went on to reject other claims made by the programme, saying EWM had made an offer of compensation as part of an ongoing dialogue with trade union IndustriALL. It has also been in talks “for some weeks” around signing up to the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Accord. If “a number of open-ended legal points” are satisfied, the company will sign up.

Simpson added: “The Edinburgh Woollen Mill is active in improving all working conditions for all people who work within the clothing industry in Bangladesh and will apply pressure onto factory owners, agents and local authorities in Bangladesh to improve the environment for all these workers and their families.”

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