SINGAPORE — Cambodia’s garment manufacturing industry, already reeling from widespread industrial action and a series of mass faintings, is facing grave risks in fire safety, according to a new report from the International Labor Organization’s Better Factories Cambodia program.
BFC’s monitors canvassed 160 factories in the Southeast Asian kingdom for six months starting May 1 and found adherence with fire safety regulations dropped by an unprecedented 30 percent to a 57 percent compliance rate.
“It is possible that attention to workplace safety and health standards and other legal standards have waned as factories are challenged to fill the increased volume of orders,” the report said. “However, recent deadly fires in the garment sector in other Asian countries remind us that vigilance is required on such measures.”
The report noted a drop in the use of child labor — just 1 percent of the factories it monitored utilized underage employees, down from 8.5 percent in 2011 — but otherwise noted “no significant change in areas known to contribute to fainting incidents.” According to the Cambodia Ministry of Labor, 1,686 workers fainted across 22 accidents in 2012. The report found only 32 percent of the plants it surveyed had acceptable heat levels, while 36 percent of factories did not have adequate ventilation.
Monitors reported that in 89 percent of factories, overtime was voluntary, but said that certain discrepancies suggested there might be a concerted attempt to hide forced overtime from the authorities.
The BFC project stems from a trade agreement between the U.S. and Cambodia in which the export-reliant country pledged better working conditions in the garment industry in return for improved access to the U.S. market. The Cambodian government only grants export licenses to garment factories that are registered with the program, but the ILO project is reliant on cooperation with garment plants and has limited enforcement capability. This year it started delivering details on “chronically noncompliant companies” to the government for action.
“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
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
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