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An international initiative to stop garment worker exploitation is calling upon Australian fashion brands

WORDS BY CAIT EMMA BURKE

“No company or brand should make profits at the expense of workers.”

Australian fashion brands are being urged to sign on to an international initiative seeking to stop garment worker exploitation. The new International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Sector will ensure safe workplaces and protect some of the fashion industry’s most vulnerable people.

The Australian union representing workers in the garment industry is calling on four of Australia’s major fashion companies – each of which produces its clothing overseas – to sign the initiative.


For more on Australian fashion, check out our Fashion section. 


Modelled off the Bangladesh accord, which has now been renegotiated and extended to other countries, this new initiative has already been signed by all but four Australian companies who previously signed the Bangladesh accord.

The companies in question – Design Works, Licensing Essentials Pty Ltd, The Just Group and Speciality Fashion Group – own some of Australia’s biggest and most successful fashion brands, like Peter Alexander, Just Jeans and Portmans.

Jenny Kruschel, the Textiles, Clothing and Footwear National Secretary of the CFMEU Manufacturing Division, highlighted the major compliance and safety issues present in the global garment manufacturing industry.

“No company or brand should make profits at the expense of workers. The accord ensures safe workplaces, and helps prevent exploitation of some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

“These companies have done the right thing in the past and signed the previous accord that was put in place after the Rana Plaza tragedy in Bangladesh. We call on them to now sign on to the new code, which will protect more workers in more countries, as well as their own brands,” she said.

For a detailed breakdown of the new accord, head here.

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