Abercrombie Becomes First Major US Brand To Join Bangladesh Safety Accord After Factory Collapse

Abercrombie & Fitch is so far the only major U.S. retailer that has publicly agreed to a legally binding safety accord that aims to improve factory conditions for garment workers in Bangladesh.

The retailer’s sustainability director, Kim Harr, told MarketWatch that agreeing to the safety accord “is the right thing to do to bring about sustainable, effective change.”

Wal-Mart and Gap announced yesterday that they will not be signing on to the agreement because they don’t want to be held legally responsible for improving factory safety.

Companies that sell merchandise produced in Bangladesh have been under pressure in recent weeks to agree to a legally binding commitment to factory safety. The issue has received global attention after a building collapse in Dhaka last month killed about 1,200 people, many of whom were garment workers.

European-based retailers H&M and Inditex, which owns fast-fashion giant Zara, joined the safety accord earlier this week. The deadline for companies to sign on is midnight.

Another major U.S. company, PVH Corp., which owns Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, agreed to the safety accord last year.

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