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UK Ministers discuss safe apparel making with retailers
Jul '13
UK Cabinet Minister Alan Duncan and Justine Greening, secretary of state for international development, have discussed with about 20 retailers including Marks & Spencer and Tesco, how clothing can be produced in safe conditions.
During the meeting called by the Department for Industrial Development (DfID), the Ministers sought steps to avoid repeat of disasters like the Rana Plaza factory building collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,100 people, guardian.co.uk reported.
Ms. Greening termed the April 24 Bangladesh factory collapse as a wake-up call about the immediate need to improve safety standards for workers in developing countries.
At the meeting, DfID offered to help provide economic, social and political insight for retailers to help them make responsible investment decisions in developing countries.
One idea discussed at the meeting was to implement a quality assurance scheme to help customers identify items made with the best ethical standards, the guardian stated.
The meeting was the beginning of a process wherein retailers would be encouraged to utilize their influence to help bring about change in safety and work standards in garment factories, according to Ms. Greening.
During his visit to Bangladesh last month, Mr. Duncan announced that the UK will donate £18 million to help train garment workers in Bangladesh.
The UK Government is also offering technical support and advice on standards to Bangladesh.
Global retailers have already begun taking steps to monitor clothing factories and over 50 of them have signed to a legally binding building safety agreement, wherein each of the signatory brands has agreed to contribute up to US$ 500,000 a year towards installation of fire safety measures and rigorous factory inspections.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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