No More ‘Wrong Clothes’

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The government will commit itself intensively to ban ‘wrong clothes’ from Dutch shops. It is especially about clothes, which are produced, while bad working conditions for the employees, in factories in Bangladesh. The Netherlands will in the coming two years, take the lead as the ‘coordinator of all the donor efforts, for safe working conditions in the textile sector in Bangladesh’.

PvdA Minister Lilliane Ploumen of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, will tell this today at a meeting with FNV Mondiaal. In April more than 1,100 people died when a clothes factory collapsed, just outside the Bengal's capitol of Dhaka. In that factory. clothes were made, among others, for the brand Primark which is sold in four shops in the Netherlands.

Ploumen wants to present herself as the protector of socially responsible entrepreneurship. She will therefore sit at the table with the Bangladesh  government, the World Bank, the EU, the international labour union ILO and textile companies from several EU countries, who are active in Bangladesh. Most of the western fashion brands, let produce clothes in the impoverished country. Ploumen wants, before this Summer, to come to a practically joint action plan, which will ban the abuses in the textile sector.

The Netherlands will give 9 million euro to improve the working conditions in the textile factories. Ploumen will ask famous international fashion brands for a financial help. In Brussels the minister will soon discuss the situation in Bangladesh with her colleagues. She will ask them to approach their own national textile sector, to also come to a joint action plan.

Many clothes on the Dutch shelves are ‘wrong’. This has to be changed. We can not accept that textile workers have to take enormous risks to produce our jeans and T-shirts. A low price may not be the cause of these bad working conditions. “We have to realize that from a T-shirt of 10 euro only 50 cents will be paid to the producer,” says Ploumen, “The race to the lowest price has to be ended.”