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Mango Joins Pakistan Accord

Mango is throwing its support behind the Pakistan Accord, the first expansion of the International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry outside Bangladesh.

The Spanish retailer was one of the first signatories of the original Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, a binding agreement designed to protect garment workers in the aftermath of the deadly Rana Plaza collapse, which killed more than 1,100 people a decade ago. Mango, whose labels were found among the rubble, had contracted one of the factories in the complex to produce samples of polo shirts and other goods. It would later contribute to the $40 million Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund to compensate victims and their families.

The Accord, in all of its iterations, Mango said, has defined a “route map for improving the health and safety conditions of factory workers.” It requires signatories to actively participate in the inspection and remediation of fire, structural and boiler hazards or face potential enforcement in a court of law if arbitration fails. Despite conducting 56,000 fire, electrical, and building safety inspections at more than 2,400 factories since 2013, however, the Accord has never come to that.

The high-street staple’s support of the agreement, Mango noted, is part of its Sustainable Vision 2030 sustainability strategy, which seeks to “take one step further” in its journey to reduce the environmental and social impact of its products and operations by promoting “product, people and planet.”

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The Zara rival, which publicly lists its suppliers down to Tier 3, works with more than 50 facilities in Pakistan, including denim mills such as Artistic Milliners, Crescent Bahuman and Soorty.

“At Mango, we firmly believe in the transformative power of collaboration, which is why we consider it necessary to join forces with other companies in the Pakistan Accord,” said CEO Toni Ruiz. “We are delighted that these types of agreement are being extended to new countries, since it represents a major step forward in our journey towards greater protection in textile and garment factories. As a company committed to its surroundings, we will continue working to generate a positive impact on our communities.”

More than 50 brands and retailers have added their names to the Pakistan Accord since January, according to the International Accord secretariat, which expects more to follow in the following weeks. Together, the International Accord’s 187 brand signatories source more than $2.6 billion worth of garments and textiles from Pakistan. The secretariat said it expects all 110 signatories with operations in the country to eventually participate, covering 500 to 700 facilities and tens of thousands of workers.

Last week, members of the Accord Steering Committee, including Bestseller, C&A, H&M Group, Zara owner Inditex, Otto Group and Calvin Klein parent PVH Corp., urged more brands to “sign the Pakistan Accord and join us in our collective commitment to raise safety standards at supplier factories in Pakistan.”

Other companies backing the Pakistan Accord include Adidas, American Eagle Outfitters, Asos, Boohoo Group, Marks & Spencer, Puma, Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing and, more recently, Hugo Boss.