US retail giant Walmart has admitted some of its products were made at the Bangladesh garment factory that burnt down at the weekend killing 110 workers, as anger grows over lax safety standards.
Bangladesh has become a global centre for clothes manufacturing due to cheap labour. But the blaze late on Saturday highlighted concerns about Western brands selling goods made in dangerous, overcrowded conditions.
“A supplier subcontracted work to this factory without authorisation and in direct violation of our policies,” Walmart said in a statement issued on Monday. “Today, we have terminated the relationship with that supplier.
“The fact that this occurred is extremely troubling to us, and we will continue to work across the apparel industry to improve fire safety education and training in Bangladesh.”
Walmart expressed its condolences to the victims’ families, as have European chain C&A and the Hong Kong-based Li & Fung, which also had orders at the nine-storey Tazreen factory outside the capital Dhaka.