Italian retailer Benetton to offer funds to families of B'desh factory victims

Last Updated: Sun, May 05, 2013 13:21 hrs

London: Italian apparel retailer Benetton had initially denied any connection to the factory that collapsed in Bangladesh killing more than 500 people, but since then photos of the brand's clothing in the building's rubble have emerged.

Benetton CEO Biagio Chiarolanza said in a statement that it is such a tragedy that no one in the industry should feel above it. He said that Benetton will make funds available to the families of the victims, adding that every member of the industry has a moral obligation to intervene in their support, reports the Huffington Post.

Benetton said it is working with global non-profit organizations like the International Labor Organization to figure out how to facilitate a "significant and lasting improvement" in workers' conditions in Bangladesh.

Chiarolanza's statement comes a day after Galen Weston, the executive chairman of Canadian apparel retailer Loblaw, condemned the "deafening silence" from other apparel retailers in the aftermath of the tragedy.

Loblaw owns clothing brand Joe Fresh, which confirmed it had goods made at one of the factories in the doomed Rana Plaza factory.

Benetton's first statement following the collapse on April 24 claimed, "none of the companies involved are suppliers to Benetton Group or any of its brands".

Five days later, Quartz reported that shirts bearing Benetton labels were found in the building's rubble, forcing Benetton to clarify its relationship with the manufacturers in Rana Plaza.

The company said in a statement April 29 that a "one-time order" was completed and shipped out from one of the manufacturers in the building, but it was "several weeks prior" to the building's collapse.

Then, on April 30, Benetton said that one of its suppliers had "occasionally subcontracted" orders from one of the manufacturers in Rana Plaza. 

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