MILAN — Benetton Group has contributed $1.1 million to the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund, double the amount recommended by independent assessors PwC and Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP).
This story first appeared in the April 20, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
This brings the Italian clothing giant’s total payments in support of victims of the 2013 garment factory tragedy in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to $1.6 million; Benetton Group had previously donated $500,000 to BRAC, a Bangladesh-based non-governmental aid organization.
The news of additional reparations comes after Benetton Group’s February agreement to join other fashion firms — such as Inditex, El Corte Inglès, among many others — in supporting the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund, following mounting pressure and an online petition circulated by the Avaaz campaign group that singled out the retailer and suggested it was shirking responsibility.
PwC calculated Benetton Group’s retributions at $550,000, based on the fashion company’s commercial association with Rana Plaza.
“We have decided to go further, to demonstrate very clearly how deeply we care,” said Marco Airoldi, chief executive officer of Benetton Group, noting: “Whilst there is no real redress for the tragic loss of life, we hope that this robust and clear mechanism for calculating compensation could be used more widely. For this reason, we decided to make the PwC report available to stakeholders.”
Benetton Group was among 29 brands connected to firms manufacturing inside the Rana Plaza building, and it joined labels such as H&M and Abercrombie & Fitch in signing the Fire and Building Safety Accord after the collapse, which killed more than a thousand people and injured thousands more.
“With a tragedy of this scale, no financial contribution can ever really be enough, but we welcome Benetton’s decision to pay more than its calculated share of the fund based on the report published by PwC,” said Avedis Seferian, president and ceo of WRAP.