The deadline to sign onto the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh passed on Tuesday, and at least 14 major North American retailers declined to participate.
The agreement, which demands a five-year commitment from participating retailers to conduct independent safety inspections of factories and pay up to $500,000 per year toward safety improvements, has seen greater support abroad than in the U.S.
Major European retailers — for example, Marks & Spencer and Carrefour — have joined the agreement. Others who’ve signed on include companies recently involved with factory disasters in Bangladesh, such as Swedish retailer H&M and Italian fashion house Benetton. A 2010 factory fire at a facility that made cardigans for H&M killed 21 people, and Bennetton had a supplier in the Rana Plaza factory that collapsed last month, killing more than 1,100 people.
PVH, parent to Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, signed the accord, along with Abercrombie & Fitch, which agreed just hours before the deadline. That leaves plenty of U.S. retailers absent from the agreement, according to the Worker Rights Consortium, an international labor monitoring group. However, some retailers, like Walmart, claim they are working on separate initiatives to improve conditions and workplace safety in Bangladesh.
BIG SURPRISE. American corporations doing their favorite dance, it is called the Sweatshop Shuffle and they’ve made it look effortless. Americans won’t change their consumption habits, so why would these companies change the production methods that keep everyone looking fly? Get that Gap, girl.
This is also why I won’t just talk about food and food justice. I am ultimately only interested in decolonization. This is the world that Western Capitalist Imperialism has built. This is about industrial channels of production and consumption practices that RELY on the dehumanization of others. Our food system is just one cog in this shitty machine. Working toward an oppression-free lifestyle has always been important to me, and for fashion-based reasons alone, I wouldn’t be caught DEAD in these stores/brands as it is. But, I’m always quite thankful for a little update to my boycott list.
14 companies refused to sign, and we should all know who they are:
Wal-Mart, Gap, Macy’s, SEARS, JC Penney’s, NorthFace, Target, Kohl’s, CATO Fashions, Osh Kosh, Nordstrom, American Eagle Outfitters, Foot Locker, The Children’s Place
Fuck em and Duck em, ya’ll.