BESTSELLER has been a signatory for all 10 years, as we believe that multistakeholder collaboration – based on the specific situation of individual countries – is the best approach to secure occupational health and safety for all textile workers.
The International Accord is a legally binding agreement that promotes and supports the development of safer workplaces in the textile and garment industry in Bangladesh, Pakistan and beyond.
Under the Accord agreement the past 10 years, 56,000 factory assessments have been conducted, and 140,000 health and safety issues corrected across 2,400 factories. Over two million workers have been trained on health and safety, and all workers in Accord-covered factories have access to a hotline to anonymously raise health and safety concerns.
“For me, one of the biggest impacts comes from teaching factory workers about how to identify issues and raise them,” says Zahangir Alam, BESTSELLER’s Social & Labour Manager in Bangladesh.
“Some of the people we meet at the factories don’t know how to read and write, but we don’t let that become a barrier – after training sessions they know what to do and what not to do to keep themselves and their workplaces safe.”
Aftermath of a tragedy
24 April 2013 marks the day of the tragic collapse of the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh. The Accord was developed in the aftermath of this tragedy. Although we had no business with Rana Plaza, as a company that sources from Bangladesh we have a responsibility to contribute to efforts that improve the health and safety standards in the industry to avoid such accidents altogether.
The International Accord promotes worker safety through independent inspections, remediation, and training programmes and recognises the rights of workers to organise, refuse unsafe work and raise health and safety concerns. Over the past decade, the accord has made considerable progress to ensure the health and safety of garment factory workers.
As a signatory, we are committed to ensuring the continuous and sustained progress on factory safety in Bangladesh and beyond.
100% of BESTSELLER’s suppliers in Bangladesh are covered by the Accord programme. This means their factories are subject to regular inspections from engineers. Suppliers that do not agree to Accord monitoring and training are not onboarded into BESTSELLER’s supply chain.
In 2023, we also signed the Pakistan Accord, agreeing to a country-specific safety programme.
BESTSELLER signed the Accord, to ensure that factories in Bangladesh are subject to regular inspections from engineers and that all concerns are remediated.
BESTSELLER signed the Accord Transition agreement, to update and extend the commitments of the original agreement, preparing to hand over ownership of implementation to the local RMG Sustainability Council (RSC).
BESTSELLER signed up to the new International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry. The agreement continued the legally binding commitments to ensure that factories in Bangladesh are subject to regular inspections from engineers and that all concerns are remediated.
BESTSELLER signed the Pakistan Accord, agreeing to a country-specific safety programme with the support of the International Labour Organisation.
- The International Accord is currently signed by 195 global brands and retailers, and the two global trade unions IndustriALL Global Union and UNI Global Union.
- RMG Sustainability Council (RSC) has carried forward Accord operations in Bangladesh since June 2020.
- More information on the status of inspections and remediation at Accord-covered factories: https://internationalaccord.org/factories/#factory-search