BESTSELLER joins leading fashion brands in affirming its commitment to the International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry in Pakistan.
The new Accord Agreement is a legally binding commitment to ensure safety for textile workplaces in Pakistan. It is the successor to Bangladesh Accord, which, by elevating workplace standards in Bangladesh’s garment industry, has protected the health and safety of millions of workers while improving confidence in Bangladesh as a safe sourcing region.
As a member of the Steering Committee of the International Accord, BESTSELLER is working with other signatories and national stakeholders to secure a country-specific Accord programme in Pakistan, tailored towards the needs in the region.
Read the joint statement from the signing board members here.
“We are proud to announce the inception of the Pakistan Accord and our brands’ commitment to this new safety programme. We believe multistakeholder collaboration – based on the specific context of individual sourcing countries – is the best approach to secure occupational health and safety for all textile workers,” says Felicity Tapsell, Head of Responsible Sourcing at BESTSELLER.
The new Accord includes all key International Accord features: independent safety inspections to address identified fire, electrical, structural and boiler hazards, monitoring and supporting remediation, Safety Committee training and worker safety awareness program, an independent complaints mechanism, a commitment to broad transparency, and local capacity-building to enhance a culture of health and safety in the industry.
A collaboration between brands and suppliers
BESTSELLER recognises many Pakistani textile and garment manufacturers have already made significant investments in fire and building safety in recent years.
The Pakistan Accord provides an opportunity both to increase the visibility of these efforts and to deepen and expand them throughout Pakistan’s garment and textile sector, and support the development of Pakistan as an attractive option for global brands.
BESTSELLER, together with all Accord brand signatories, is committed to supporting its suppliers in meeting the Pakistan Accord standards.
“We encourage all brands around the world to sign the Pakistan Accord agreement and join a collective commitment to raise the safety standards for workers in the Pakistan garment industry. We look forward to our continued dialogue with our suppliers in Pakistan in the coming weeks, as the establishment of the Accord programme moves forward,” says Felicity Tapsell.
About the International Accord
- The International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry was introduced in Bangladesh in 2013.
- It is a legally binding agreement between 190 global brands and retailers, IndustriALL Global Union and UNI Global Union, and eight of their Bangladeshi affiliated unions to work towards a safe and healthy garment and textile industry.
- With the signing of the International Accord in September 2021, brands agreed to expand this vital work to other countries.
ABOUT BESTSELLER IN PAKISTAN
- Pakistan is one of the five largest sourcing countries BESTSELLER sources products from.
- In 2022 BESTSELLER opened a new sourcing office in Lahore, Pakistan. Enabling on the ground presence to facilitate closer relations with supply chain partners.
- In 2022 BESTSELLER Foundation donated USD 50,000 to support flood relief efforts in the country.
About BESTSELLER’s progress under the Bangladesh Accord
- A key part of BESTSELLER’s sustainability strategy is Fair For All, which defines the company’s initiatives to ensure the highest standards for human rights and worker safety in its supply chain.
- By 2025 BESTSELLER has committed to source 75 percent of all product orders from suppliers that are highly rated in its sustainability evaluation.
- In 2020 the Bangladesh Accord operations were transferred to the RMG Sustainability Council (RSC) a national platform, with International brands, manufacturers and trade unions on the tripartite Board of Directors. BESTSELLER is on the board of the RSC
- In May 2021, the Accord reported that 1,272 of the 1,600 factories covered by the RSC have remediated 91-100 percent of the issues identified by independent inspectors. 100 percent of BESTSELLER’s suppliers in Bangladesh are covered by the RSC.
- As of the end of the second quarter of 2022, BESTSELLER’s suppliers in Bangladesh had an average independently verified remediation rate of 88 percent, and 84 of factories completed safety training.
- Read more about how BESTSELLER works to ensure high standards in our supply chain on our website Bestseller.com/sustainability/fair-for-all