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North American apparel brands, retailers launch new platform ‘Nirapon’

North America-based apparel brands and retailers recently launched a new platform, ‘Nirapon’, to oversee the ongoing safety, training and helpline efforts at the Alliance-listed garment factories. A total of 21 global apparel brands with more than a dozen of former Alliance-signatory members, including Gap, Walmart, JC Penny and VF, have joined the locally-managed organisation with the commitment to sustaining the culture of factory safety in Bangladesh. 

The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety had shut down its operations in the readymade garment (RMG) sector here as its transitional period ended on December 31. Some 29 apparel companies formed the platform in 2013 immediately after the Rana Plaza disaster to improve the workplace safety in the RMG industry. 

Nirapon will monitor the factories from which its member brands source to verify that they continue to meet the National Action Plan harmonised standards for structural, fire, and electrical safety, have implemented standardised training programmes focused on worker safety and continue to make the helpline service, Amader Kotha, available to their factory workers

 Nirapon would serve as a single point of contact between its members and the factories on these issues and would also focus on building local capacity to manage fire and building safety to sustain the investments in worker safety that have been made to date.