- What is VF’s commitment to ensuring worker safety in Bangladesh and around the world?
VF is deeply committed to ensuring that all individuals are treated with integrity, honesty, respect and dignity. And for us, the fair treatment and safety of our associates and those making our products around the world is more than a priority…it’s an imperative.
In recent years, several tragic events at garment factories around the world have underscored the need for the global apparel industry to place an even greater emphasis on ensuring safe working conditions, particularly in Bangladesh. As a founding member of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety and through our own independent efforts such as our Responsible Sourcing program, VF is taking action every day to improve the working conditions in factories where we make or source our products, demonstrating our long-term global commitment to worker safety.
- What are the challenges in addressing safe working conditions in Bangladesh?
While notable progress has been made in Bangladesh, several challenges remain. Uneven government capacity, unauthorized subcontracting, limited presence and acceptance of trade unions, and a lack of modern safety equipment cannot be tolerated and must continue to be addressed to achieve sustainable change. VF is working in various ways to address these challenges.
- Why did VF join the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety (the Alliance) instead of the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety (the Accord)?
VF joined the Alliance because the organization shares our steadfast commitment to worker safety and because many of the Alliance members are our customers, companies with whom we work every day. We are accustomed to working together on matters related to global supply chains. Joining the Alliance, which consists mostly of U.S. companies, instead of the largely European corporate membership of the Accord was a logical choice for us.
- Is the Alliance legally binding?
Yes. The Alliance is a five-year, legally binding $50 million commitment to improve the safety of workers in Bangladesh.
- Did VF source product at the Rana Plaza factory that collapsed in April 2013?
No. There were no VF brands sourcing product at Rana Plaza at the time of the April 2013 factory collapse. However, VF did contribute $400,000 to the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund to support victims and their families.
- Which type of products does VF produce in Bangladesh?
VF sources items such as bottoms, tops and shoes in Bangladesh.
- How many factories does VF use in Bangladesh, and how many people are employed by those factories?
VF contracts with approximately 90 factories in Bangladesh. These factories employ approximately 190,000 workers. VF does not own any factories in Bangladesh.
- How much of VF’s product is produced in Bangladesh?
Approximately 15 percent of VF’s global production volume is sourced in Bangladesh. VF proudly manufacturers about 40 percent of our apparel in the Americas, compared to an average of 13-16 percent for the apparel industry.