‘Dutch clothing companies keep quiet about Bangladesh factories’

Most of the Dutch clothing companies which signed an agreement pledging to improve the conditions of garment workers in Bangladesh will not say which firms they work with, broadcaster Nos says on Thursday.

This means it is impossible for consumers and other organisations to check if stores are producing their clothes in safe factories with decent working conditions, the broadcaster says.

Inspectors say there are still problems at many Bangladesh factories, despite the agreement to make improvements.

Nos approached the 20 Dutch firms who signed up to the deal. Only four – Vingino, G-Star, The Sting and Prenatal – are completely transparent about which manufacturers they use. The rest decline to say, citing competition concerns.


The agreement was drawn up following the fire at a building containing five textile firms in April 2013. In total, 1,138 people died in the blaze and over 2,500 were injured.

Worldwide, 184 companies, unions and NGOs agreed to work together to improve working conditions and factory safety. The agreement does not require firms to go public about their manufacturers, something the Dutch campaign group Schone Kleren Campagne thinks should happen.

The Dutch firms say that inspectors have checked at least 60 factories which they work with and all have been declared safe, although many have been asked to make further improvements.

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