Seven apparel industry workers were killed and more than 15 injured when a fire swept through the Smart Export Garment Ltd. factory in Mohammadpur in the western part of Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Saturday. All of those killed were women and four were teenagers, according to police officials.
The Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights said the workers were crushed to death as they raced to escape the flames at the factory, which is housed on the second floor of a two-story building.
Mahbubur Rahman, director of Fire Service and Civil Defence headquarters, said the cause of the fire was still under investigation.
Officials of Smart Export Garment could not be reached for comment. However, press reports here said the factory was not licensed.
International organizations quickly spoke out against the latest tragedy and called for a change of working conditions in the apparel industry in Bangladesh. “After more than two decades of the apparel industry knowing about the risks to these workers, nothing substantial has changed,” Judy Gearhart, executive director of the International Labor Rights Forum, said in a statement issued along with The Worker Rights Consortium and the Clean Clothes Campaign.
Staff from the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights organization were able to enter the Smart factory right after the fire and found the following labels: Bershka and Lefties, owned by Inditex Group, the Sol’s label owned by Paris-based Solo Invest, and the Fox & Scott label registered to Sylvain Scemama in Paris.
“It is long overdue that Europe’s major garment labels stand up to guarantee that Bangladesh’s nearly four million garment workers finally have the right to organize an independent union and to bargain collectively,” the Institute said.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
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