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.
“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