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Bangla factory banned by Walmart still makes Wrangler shirts

Last updated on: May 21, 2013 15:20 IST

Bangla factory banned by Walmart still makes Wrangler shirts

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A Bangladesh factory where Walmart Stores Inc and Inditex SA inspectors spotted cracks in the wall this month is still making Wrangler shirts for the world's largest apparel maker, US-based VF Corp.

VF confirmed on Saturday it was still using Liz Apparels to make its clothing following an inspection ordered by the factory owner, Nassa Group, on May 12.

VF, whose other clothing brands include North Face, Timberland and Nautica, said its philosophy was to 'stay and improve' working conditions.

"We are in daily contact with the facility and VF's leadership is closely monitoring the status in this facility and others in our Bangladesh supply chain," the company said in a statement to Reuters.

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Image: A clown sits inside a bus seen in front of a Wal-Mart store in Mexico City.
Photographs: Edgard Garrido/Reuters

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Bangla factory banned by Walmart still makes Wrangler shirts

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VF's continued relationship with Liz Apparels stands in stark contrast to the approach by some of the world's best-known retailers, who immediately severed ties with the same factory.

The differing views show how Western retailers and brands are struggling to assess safety risks at thousands of Bangladesh garment factories after the April 24 collapse of Rana Plaza in another Dhaka suburb, which killed 1,127 people.

Their task is made tougher by a lack of robust safety rules, a severe shortage of trained building inspectors and equipment needed to make proper safety assessments, and widespread concerns about corruption.

The image used is for representational purpose only

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Image: Women work in a garment factory in Gazipur, Bangladesh.
Photographs: Andrew Biraj/Reuters

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Bangla factory banned by Walmart still makes Wrangler shirts

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Walmart told Reuters on Friday that Liz Apparels in Gazipur, near the capital Dhaka, had previously made clothing for its stores but was now on its 'red' list of unapproved suppliers after a safety audit in early May found the cracks.

Walmart has not published the full findings of that audit, conducted by testing and inspection company Bureau Veritas, which also included checks for fire hazards and a review of building plans.

The image used is for representational purpose only

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Image: A worker sews inside a garment factory in Bangladesh.
Photographs: Palash Khan/Reuters

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Bangla factory banned by Walmart still makes Wrangler shirts

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It has asked the Bangladesh government to investigate what it called 'potentially dangerous conditions' in the building.
Inditex, which owns the Zara clothing chain, said it sent inspectors to the factory on Wednesday after seeing Walmart's report, and they too saw wall cracks, which the company plans to report to the Bangladesh authorities.

But VF said the building was cleared for 'normal operations' after the May 12 inspection. VF, headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, later said it would pay for its own inspections which had not yet been completed.


Photographs: Reuters

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