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Sunday 24th of April marks the third anniversary of the 2013 Rana Plaza garment factory collapse. This avoidable tragedy resulted in the death of 1,134 Bangladeshi garment workers, and was a stark reminder of the dangers inherent to unregulated outsourcing.
In light of this anniversary, Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA) would like to acknowledge those who were injured and lost their lives, and the importance of ongoing efforts to improve the safety and working conditions of workers in the garment industry. ECA would also like to highlight the positive steps being made by some Australian textile, clothing and footwear (TCF) companies to ensure the cut, make and trim of local production is fully transparent and compliant with Australian law.
In Australia, as per the rest of the world, the TCF industry is frequently adopting an outsourcing model that can lead to businesses not always knowing who is making their products and under what conditions. The ECA accreditation program annually maps a company’s entire Australian supply chain, and provides ongoing support and training for businesses. This process is a collaborative one that assists companies to manage risks and deal with issues as they arise and ensure workers are treated fairly.
ECA applauds the approximate 90 brands currently accredited for their commitment to protecting the rights of Australian garment workers. These brands see great value in third party compliance and understand the importance of safe working conditions - viewing supply chain management simply as good business.
As part of Fashion Revolution Week, an international campaign promoting transparency within the fashion industry, ECA accredited brands have been celebrating their relationships with local makers. By introducing consumers to those behind their clothing, these brands have showcased the incredible people that make up local industry. Visit ECA’s Instagram to see these stories.
ECA looks forward to continuing its work with accredited brands, the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia and wider industry, in the hope that these efforts strengthen both the ECA program and Australian TCF industry.
For comment, please contact:
Sigrid McCarthy, Ethical Clothing Australia: 0404 328 078
Michele O’Neil, TCFUA National Secretary: 0419 338 853
Damien Peirce-Grant, Cue Chief Operating Officer: 0409 222 008