The International Accord

Everyone has the right to be safe at work, but hundreds of thousands of women working in the garment and textile industry in Bangladesh are denied this right.  

Each day women garment workers are risking their lives for our latest fashion trends.   

International and Australian fashion brands can ensure all garment workers in Bangladesh are safe at work by signing the International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry.  

Over 190 brands have signed on, but one Aussie brandBest&Less is still missing from the list of signatories. 

Workers can no longer wait for safer factories. Brands have the power to make real changes to the lives of women who make their clothes. They just need to feel the pressure from us.

You can stand alongside women garment workers by calling on Best&Less to sign on to the International Accord today!

Why should fashion brands sign the International Accord?

The deadliest disaster in the history of the clothing manufacturing industry was the 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which killed 1,138 workers and injured 2,500. 

The Rana Plaza disaster was a critical turning point for workers’ safety in Bangladesh and led to the development of the ground-breaking Bangladesh Accord, which delivered critical safety gains for millions of workers. Since the introduction of the Bangladesh Accord, inspections uncovered over 130,000 safety violations, from structural damage to unsafe fire escape routes. A large majority of these safety hazards have since been resolved. 

In 2021, the International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry, the successor agreement to the Bangladesh Accord, was introduced. The Accord is a legally binding agreement for worker safety which aims to ensure factories are safe for workers. At the beginning of 2023, the International Accord expanded to cover Pakistan, extending its safety protections to cover even more workers. 

The International Accord uniquely protects worker safety through:   

  • Legal enforceability of brands’ commitments, with mandatory complaint and enforcement mechanisms;    
  • Independent oversight of brand compliance;   
  • Obligations to pay prices to suppliers, sufficient enough to support safe workplaces; and    
  • Obligations to cease doing business with any factory that refuses to operate safely. 

Over 190 international brands have signed on, including many well-known Australian brands. 

The Accord will only be successful in achieving worker safety gains if all international brands which produce in Bangladesh sign on. 

Ensuring safe workplaces for garment workers in Bangladesh

Fast fashion has a high price for the garment workers making our clothes. Behind the glitz and glamour of the fashion industry, garment workers risk illness, injury and even their lives working in unsafe factories.