WASHINGTON — Two House Democrats are seeking to have a vote on an amendment to a Department of Defense spending bill that would require all apparel made in Bangladesh and sold at military base stores, known as exchanges, to comply with a binding, enforceable accord on building and fire safety in Bangladesh.
Reps. George Miller (D., Calif.) and Jan Schakowsky (D., Ill.) offered the amendment on Wednesday. The lawmakers said a number of garments and documents bearing Marine insignias were found in the rubble of the Tazreen Fashion fire in November that killed 112 garment workers. They said public data indicates that the Army-Air Force Exchange imported 124,000 pounds of licensed garments last year from several garment factories in Bangladesh.
While licensed and branded goods sold at military base stores can be made anywhere in the world, all military uniforms procured must be made in the U.S.
“Workers that manufacture clothing embossed with our nation’s military slogans and insignias shouldn’t have to face blocked fire exits and threats of being fired for refusing to work in unsafe conditions, Miller said. “Likewise, clothing licensed and sold in military exchanges owned by the Department of Defense are made in conditions that uphold our nation’s core values and internationally recognized labor standards.”
Schakowsky said, “It is not only unjust but inhumane that garment workers barely make ends meet and are subjected to working in unsafe buildings, many of which don’t have fire escapes or potable water. As a huge purchaser of garments, the U.S. military should not be complicit in putting the lives of Bangladesh’s workers in grave danger. Even the clothing sold to our servicemen and women, some bearing the proud word Marines, should reflect the values they are bravely protecting. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this amendment, which would make a difference in the lives of garment workers and improve conditions in Bangladesh’s garment factories.”
The pressure is mounting on retailers and brands in the wake of Tazreen and the Rana Plaza building collapse in April that claimed the lives of 1,129 garment workers.
The two lawmakers are urging companies such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Gap Inc. to sign on to a legally binding accord, led by the IndustriALL Global Union, that over 40 mainly European retailers and brands have signed. Three American companies — PVH Corp., Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and Sean John — have signed that accord. A coalition of North American retailers and brands, led by Wal-Mart and Gap, are formulating their own safety plan, citing legal liabilities in the IndustriALL accord.
The amendment would require military exchanges that sell their own branded garments that are made in Bangladesh to join or “abide by” the conditions of the InudstriALL-led accord. It would also require military exchanges that license apparel for their own stores to give preference to vendors that have signed the legally binding accord.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye