Fashion’s Ugly Underbelly Yet Again Exposed

h&m01-6-460x260A Bangladesh factory that made clothing for H&M and JC Penny caught on fire early in the morning of Feb. 2, injuring four and sending plumes of smoke into the air. A local news report shows workers jumping from windows below the floor that is on fire.
Here is the video:

The Matrix Sweater Factory, on the eighth floor of a building in Gazipur, burned for nearly four hours before firefighters could contain it, the Daily Star reported. The same factory caught on fire on Jan. 29, News Bangladesh reported.The garment industry’s progress in pushing Bangladesh factories to adopt safety measures has been “painfully slow” since the Rana Plaza factory collapse killed over 1,000 in 2013.

H&M, which relies on super-cheap labor for its fast fashion, low-price model, has come under particular scrutiny. A report on Bangladesh’s garment industry released by a group of labor rights activists on Jan. 29 found that “all but one of H&M’s strategic suppliers remain behind schedule in making repairs and that over 50% of them are still lacking adequate fire exits.” A recent report by a labor rights NGO in India found that workers at factories that make clothes for H&M and others live in near-slavery conditions, confined to hostels and not allowed to leave. In an emailed statement, H&M said it was following an industry accord on improving safety standards closely, and was in “close dialogue with the suppliers and are following up on the work that remains to be done.”

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