WASHINGTON — The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh said that the Bangladesh government’s Inspector General has filed a case against Newtech Apparels Ltd. for failing to comply with an evacuation order that is endangering the lives of garment employees working in an unsafe multistory building.
The accord, led by IndustriAll Global Union and UNI Global Union and signed by 180 companies, including H&M, Marks & Spencer, Carrefour, Primark and C&A, was launched in May 2013 amid intense global scrutiny following a fire and building collapse in the country’s apparel industry that claimed the lives of more than 1,200 workers.
Over the past year, it has been inspecting 1,500 garment factories in Bangladesh as part of a binding, five-year commitment made by its member retailers, brands and labor groups.
The accord said in a statement posted on its Web site that it issued a “critical finding” against Newtech during a structural inspection. A “critical finding” means engineers have determined that a factory is “unsafe for production and occupancy in its current state,” the accord said.
“In the case of Newtech Apparels Ltd., the accord’s engineers found that the concrete columns supporting the structure are severely overstressed,” the accord said.
On June 17, a government review panel recommended the evacuation of all floors of Newtech above the ground floor and the Bangladesh Inspector General, part of the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments, issued an evacuation order.
However, during another inspection of the factory in July, accord engineers found garment workers still working on the third, fourth and fifth floors of the structurally unsound building, and on Aug. 6 the accord verified that employees continued to work at the building despite the evacuation order.
The accord said it has notified the Inspector General, which has filed a case against Newtech for violating the law. It has also notified several accord signatory brands and retailers of the owner’s failure to comply with the evacuation order.
The statement was posted on the accord’s Web site to “ensure that all concerned stakeholders are aware that Newtech Apparels is unsafe for occupation and production.”
The accord called on the owner of Newtech Apparels to evacuate the facility immediately and to not allow workers in until the building is deemed safe for occupation.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
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Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast