Gap have won a Public Eye award for the worst company of the year, following their failure to make factories safe in the wake of the Bangladesh disaster.
It might not be an award Gap are going to put on their reception desk too quickly, but “champagne corks” are popping elsewhere following the announcement they’ve been given the title of worst company of the year.
Last year Gap’s corporate social responsibility sunk to an all time low. Despite a number of investigations revealing Gap’s ties to toxic water pollution in China, Mexico and Indonesia, the company has repeatedly refused to take action to ensure our clothes are made without the use of hazardous chemicals.
They have also been accused of selling out worker’s rights in Bangladesh. After the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh killed over 1,100 people, over 100 companies joined the Bangladesh Safety Accord. But Gap refused to join this agreement. Instead they launched their own rival plan, which they call the “Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety”.
While their plan sounds grand, labour rights experts argued the policy was simply more of the same corporate-dominated, voluntary measures that were proven to have failed in the Rana Plaza disaster.
War on Want said: “Gap has substituted a sham publicity strategy for workers’ rights and safety and leaves the lives of thousands of workers at risk. We will be keeping up the pressure to demand they respect the rights of the workers who make their clothes.”
On announcement of the award Greenpeace said: “Whilst the Detox campaign is calling for major clothing brands to create fashion without pollution, Greenpeace believe good labour conditions and environmental protection should go hand in hand. We welcome the news that Gap has been awarded the Public Eye Jury Award for its failure to bring about much needed reform in the textile industry following the Rana Plaza disaster.”
Photo: War on Want