Why we support the International Accord

We are proud to be an initial signatory of the 2023 renewed version of the Accord - an organisation dedicated to creating a safer textile and garment industry. Keep reading to discover why we took this step.

2023 marks 10 years since the tragic events at the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh. To date, it remains the deadliest disaster in the history of clothing manufacturing. Formerly known as the Bangladesh Accord, the International Accord was born in the wake of this devastating event, with its mission being to create a safer textile and garment industry. We are proud to be an initial signatory of the Accord and to have renewed this in 2023. 

As part of our commitment to being a responsible business, Montane only works with manufacturers who respect the rights and wellbeing of the people who make our products. By signing up to the International Accord, we are now part of a legally binding agreement to ensure health and safety standards are met and maintained by the manufacturers we work with in Bangladesh.

Working together with this international group of brands, trade unions and  factories, we all play a proactive role in driving workplace safety in Bangladesh. As part of this, we aim to mitigate health and safety risks and continually monitor standards to ensure they are maintained within the factories we work with. Ultimately, we aim to prevent another incident like Rana Plaza ever happening again. 

As Montane’s production in Bangladesh continues to grow, ensuring a safe and healthy working environment for the workers in the supply chain remains an important consideration in our sourcing and production decisions. By signing the International Accord, we can work more efficiently with our production partners in Bangladesh to ensure they are in compliance with all relevant health and safety laws and standards.” - Claire Straker, Ethical Compliance Coordinator

Discover the Montane Sustainability hub

Where the International Accord began

On the 23rd April 2013, concerns were raised about significant structural cracks in the Rana Plaza factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. These concerns were ignored by the garment factory owners, and workers were ordered to work regardless. Only hours after arriving on the 24th April 2013, the 8-story building collapsed and killed 1,132 people. Thousands more were injured, many of whom have suffered lifelong injuries.

The tragic incident came just five months after the Tazreen factory fire, also in Dhaka, where 120 workers lost their lives. In the aftermath of this fire and the factory collapse, The Accord on Fire and Building Safety was set up, a 5-year agreement to pursue workplace safety in the Ready-Made-Garment (RMG) sector in Bangladesh.

Initially it was signed by 40 brands, retailers, and trade unions. Since then, the Accord agreement has been renewed three times (in 2018, 2021 and 2023), iteration relevant to Montane being called the new Bangladesh Safety Program Agreement. The overarching International Accord recognises that similar concerns are also found in other countries and is, therefore, now being rolled out elsewhere, the first of these additional countries being Pakistan (currently we don’t manufacture here). 

Today, the Accord has hundreds of signatories, including ourselves here at Montane. 

Ethical Trading at Montane

Why have we joined now?

Montane began manufacturing in Bangladesh in 2021 and officially signed the International Accord in 2022. We have also been a member of the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) since 2019, which focuses on social considerations, including safe and healthy working conditions for garment workers in all of the countries where we manufacture. The International Accord has a specific focus on structural, fire, and electrical safety in RMG factories, as a result of these elements being highlighted as being of particular concern in certain countries.

Signing up to the International Accord ensures additional audits (to FWF’s audits) are undertaken regularly in the Bangladeshi factories we work with. This is particularly important, given Bangladesh has a poor record of health and safety in the past. Ultimately, being a signatory provides us and you with greater peace of mind that the factories Montane works with here are adhering to the high standards we all expect.

In 2022, we also employed a full time member of staff to manage social compliance in our supply chain, which includes our membership with the International Accord. Want to better understand the important work that the International Accord carries out? Head to their website to discover more.

International Accords

Discover Further. Forever.

Our journey towards sustainability is ever evolving. Find out more, including the 4 pillars that guide us on our dedicated sustainability hub, Further. Forever.