Statement Regarding the Collapse of the Rana Plaza Building in Bangladesh

April 24, 2013

Russell Jowell
Communications Manager, Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production
2200 Wilson Blvd., #601
Arlington, VA, USA 22201



                ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, USA – All of us at WRAP were deeply saddened to hear about the collapse of the Rana Plaza building near Dhaka on April 24. Our thoughts and prayers are with those families who lost loved ones in the tragedy and we wish a speedy recovery to those who were injured.

                WRAP’s mission is to promote safe, lawful, humane, and ethical manufacturing around the world through certification and education. As Bangladesh’s garment industry has grown into one of the largest in the world, so too have the challenges of establishing ethical working standards there. It is of the utmost importance to us to ensure that all WRAP certified facilities maintain socially compliant practices on an ongoing basis so that responsible and safe manufacturing is interwoven into their daily operations.

None of the five factories located in the Rana Plaza building were currently certified by WRAP. One of them - New Wave Style, Ltd. - had been certified in the past. Their first certificate expired in 2007, after which they did not renew until 2011. An un-announced follow up audit conducted at the facility by a WRAP auditor in March 2012 revealed that the facility was failing to maintain compliant practices in accordance with WRAP’s 12 Principles. The factory failed to appropriately address these issues and their certification expired in October 2012 and was not renewed.

                WRAP remains dedicated to promoting socially responsible manufacturing around the world and will continue to devote significant resources to this goal in Bangladesh. While we see progress being made in this arena, this tragedy at Rana Plaza serves as a stark reminder of the immense work that still needs to be done. As major stakeholders in the global garment industry, we will continue to be a responsive and effective supply chain management partner that helps factories maintain safe, responsible, and ethical working environments.