Fashion Models Join with Bangladeshi Labor Rights Leader Calling on Nautica to Sign Fire & Building Safety Accord

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Date of publication: September 6, 2013

Source: Press Release

Author: ILRF & USAS


The coalition issued its call at a demonstration in front of the Nautica show at New York Fashion Week. Eighty-six apparel companies, including well-known U.S. brands—Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Sean John, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle—and popular European retailers with stores in the U.S.—H&M, Zara—have all joined an Accord, in which they agree to pay for effective measures to protect the safety of the workers who sew their clothing at their suppliers’ factories.

“Garment workers in my country are suffering from poverty wages, repression of the right to organize, and unsafe workplaces,” said Kalpona Akter, executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity. “As the largest apparel company in the world, VF has a duty to ensure safe working conditions for our garment workers by joining the Accord on Fire and Building Safety.”

“Ten years ago, when I modeled for Nautica, I didn't think about the garment workers who made the clothes I was wearing,” said fashion model Sara Ziff. “But after visiting Bangladesh last year I feel a moral responsibility to help models, and the people who look at them, become aware of the unsafe working conditions under which our clothes are produced, and the plight of the workers who produce them."

“VF/Nautica and other companies have made promises about factory safety and decent working conditions before, but those promises have been broken. Now VF is asking workers to trust them again,” said Liana Foxvog, director of organizing at the International Labor Rights Forum. “But VF is still refusing to make commitments that workers can enforce – the company refuses to be held accountable.”