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M&S signs up to Bangladesh guidelines

Marks & Spencer is the latest retailer to have signed up to a set of rules guarding the safety of workers in Bangladesh.

M&S joins the likes of Primark, H&M, Inditex, Tesco and C&A who signed the agreement yesterday, in the wake of the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in April, which killed more than 1,000 people.

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh was originated by trade unions IndustryAll and UNI Global Union and coordinated by the UN’s International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The deadline to sign up to the accord falls tomorrow (May 15).

Krishan Hundal, director of sourcing at M&S, said: “We have a proven track record in Bangladesh, we believe our approach works and all our suppliers must adhere to our strict ethical standards as a condition of working with us. This includes regular fire, health and safety checks and we only source from single occupancy factories.

“But we also recognise the need for a safer garment industry in Bangladesh and have signed the Accord on Fire and Building Safety. We will play our role alongside the ILO, other clothing brands and NGOs in developing it into an effective programme to deliver a better working environment across all 5,000 garment factories in Bangladesh.” 

M&S has sourced from Bangladesh for more than 10 years and has a regional sourcing office in Dhaka, staffed by M&S employed technologists and regional compliance officers. In total, 60 factories in the country supply M&S products. 

M&S is set to unveil its autumn 13 collection tonight.

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