Fashion retailers including Marks & Spencer are keeping a close eye on their sourcing operations and the safety of staff employed at the factories they use in Bangladesh following Friday’s terrorist attack in the capital.
Japanese fashion retailer Uniqlo has suspended non-emergency travel to Bangladesh and advised staff there to stay at home. It is understood Uniqlo employs 10 staff in Bangladesh.
Other fashion retailers that source clothing from Bangladesh, including Marks & Spencer and H&M, have said they are monitoring the situation closely.
Terrorists stormed a cafe in Dhaka last Friday (July 2), killing 20 people. Seven of the victims were Japanese, and some worked in the textiles industry.
M&S said it was “monitoring the situation closely”, adding: “Our priority, as it always is in situations like this, is the safety of our employees.”
H&M said it has ”strict safety routines” to assure its co-workers safety on-site in Bangladesh and no plans to change its current sourcing arrangements.
Puma said it would continue to source products from Bangladesh, and was not restricting staff travel, CNN has reported.
“However, we will decide [travel] on a case by case basis, depending on how the situation is evolving,” the company said.
Retail analyst Richard Hyman told the Evening Standard a review of security “is clearly necessary”.
Other experts urged retailers not to pull out of Bangladesh. Bangladesh’s garment industry – the second biggest in the world behind China – is still recovering from the fallout after the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory three years ago.
Paul Alger, a director at the UK Fashion & Textile Association, said: “It is more important now than ever before that fashion and textile businesses around the world continue to engage with Bangladesh.”