Gap Inc. Statements
May 13, 2013
Gap Inc. has been and will continue to be one of the strongest leaders in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility and is dedicated to making a lasting difference around the world.
We take our commitment to improving working conditions in Bangladesh very seriously. In fact, we were among the first global brands to take tangible actions in the country. Last October, after more than a year of negotiations that failed to result in an agreement, we announced our four-point plan that includes a meaningful commitment of financial support of up to $22 million so that improvements are made.
Moving without delay and making tangible progress on the ground in Bangladesh has been our complete focus. We chose this as a first step because we knew this is where we could have immediate, direct impact. Gap Inc. currently contracts with 78 factories, of the more than 6,500 garment factories registered in Bangladesh.
For the past two years, we have sat at the table with key stakeholders with the intention of creating a sustainable, multi-retailer and multi-stakeholder agreement. Our view continues to be that the right multi-sector partnership is the best way to lead to systemic, lasting change in the country. We’re pleased that an accord is within reach, and Gap Inc. is ready to sign on today with a modification to a single area – how disputes are resolved. This proposal is on the table right now with the parties involved. With this single change, this global, historic agreement can move forward with a group of all retailers, not just those based in Europe.
Lasting change in Bangladesh will require the active participation of many stakeholders, including retailers, the Bangladeshi government, the UN’s ILO, and the U.S. government - and importantly, the inclusion of local stakeholders such as the Bangladeshi government, and local industry and worker representatives.
Gap Inc. has already invested more than one million dollars into fire safety inspections. As a result of our early investment and intensive, on-site inspections of the factories that we contract with that have already occurred - some vendors are beginning to make improvements to their facilities.
For decades, we have been a leader in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility, and our programs like P.A.C.E. has been recognized by former President Bill Clinton. We remain committed to seeing lasting change occur in this country, and are working to help ensure that apparel workers in Bangladesh are able to work in safe, fair conditions.
May 10, 2013
All of us at Gap Inc. are deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred in the Bangladesh apparel industry, and our hearts go out to those affected. We have been asked by friends, family and customers about the recent events in Bangladesh, and want to clarify that Gap Inc. did not have a business relationship with any of the factories in the building that recently collapsed, nor did we work with any of the factories where a fire has occurred in the last year.
However, we do recognize the severity of worker safety issues in Bangladesh and have taken direct action through a fire and workplace safety program for Gap Inc.-approved suppliers in Bangladesh that we started in October 2012.
Gap Inc.’s four-point fire and workplace safety program includes inspections conducted by an internationally recognized fire safety expert. The fire safety inspections are based on national laws, internationally recognized workplace safety standards, and a fire safety inspection team has been in country every month this year.
The program provides Gap Inc. approved factories accelerated access of up to $20 million of capital to support recommended fire safety improvements, and provides up to $2 million to vendors who need assistance in paying workers for work days missed by factory employees who may be temporarily displaced from work because of fire safety remediation.
We also continue to support a multi-stakeholder effort. If tragedies such as Rana Plaza building collapse are to become a thing of the past, we will need a collaborative solution. The lasting changes needed to safeguard apparel workers in Bangladesh will require the participation of global brands, the US and European governments, the International Labor Organization, and importantly, the inclusion of local stakeholders such as the Bangladeshi government, and local industry and worker representatives.
We are working to help ensure that apparel workers in Bangladesh are able to work in safe, fair conditions. Our fire safety program is only one of many needed steps forward in that direction.
November 25, 2012
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives and those injured in the terrible tragedy that occurred in Bangladesh this weekend.
While Gap Inc. does not source, nor has it ever sourced, from the Tazreen Fashions factory or the Tuba Group in Ashulia, Bangladesh, the safety of the workers in Bangladesh and throughout the world is something that is very important to us. Ensuring worker safety is a critical component to the social responsibility programs that we’ve had in place for more than 20 years. Our efforts are focused on proactive programs that improve working conditions and have a positive impact in the communities where Gap Inc. does business.
In Bangladesh, we are implementing our 4-part Fire Safety Action Plan to improve the safety at the factories that do business with our company. This includes assembling a dedicated fire safety team based in Bangladesh, South Asia, and the United States. This newly designated team will be responsible for the implementation of the fire and building safety program and includes the appointment of an independent Chief Fire Safety Inspector We have designed the overall organizational structure of the program, as well as dedicated the appropriate financial resources and people necessary to effectively manage and implement the program.
To achieve lasting improvements at all factories in Bangladesh, we encourage others involved in the manufacturing industry in Bangladesh to also support fire safety efforts so that real progress is achieved. For those interested, to find out more about the proactive steps that Gap Inc. has taken to address fire safety in its factory vendors in Bangladesh, please click here.
SVP, Global Responsibility and President, Gap Foundation
October 2, 2012
Gap Inc. announced a significant initiative to improve building and fire safety standards across the company’s approved third-party garment manufacturing factories in Bangladesh. Underscoring the tangible steps taken in the country over the last two years—including humanitarian aid, fire safety training and education, and fire safety audits—Gap Inc.’s program is a critical step forward.
Still want more information? Here is a more comprehensive look at Gap Inc.'s efforts to address workplace safety issues across Bangladesh's apparel industry.
On the one-year anniversary of last year's tragic factory fire at That’s It Sportswear Factory in Bangladesh, our thoughts are with the families and friends of those who lost their lives or were injured. Since last December, we have been working closely with other apparel brands and retailers, trade unions and NGOs, Bangladeshi garment manufacturers, the Government of Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association to collectively address workplace and fire safety issues across Bangladesh’s apparel industry. For more information on the steps being taken, click here:
On December 14th, 2010 a fire occurred in the Hameem factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Gap Inc. was terribly saddened by this tragic incident and we are working with our peers to bring about necessary industry wide change to the critical issue of fire safety in Bangladeshi factories. Below you will find all of the materials relating to our response to the fire.
Brands create fire safety films for factory workers and management - 09/27/2011
Bangladesh Fire Safety Supplier Meeting - 02/04/2011
Joint brand coalition response - 01/07/2011
Letter to Hameem Group - 12/16/2010
Gap Inc. statement - 12/14/2010