Impact of the Rana Plaza disaster

The project sprang out of conversations started at the IFC following the 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, which left more than 1,100 dead and prompted new scrutiny of international fashion brands’ supply chains. After the disaster, the IFC started offering low-interest loans to improve safety conditions in factories in Bangladesh, the world’s second-largest supplier to the garment industry behind China. The latest initiative is intended to provide even greater incentives to improve conditions by offering better-performing contractors the chance to reduce their cost of capital. Through the IFC, Levi Strauss suppliers will have access to cheaper capital than they would otherwise in their home countries. But Olaf Schmidt, who heads the IFC’s global retail practice, said those suppliers that did best on labour, safety and environmental standards would get a further discount of up to 50 basis points on the interest charged.

Source Financial Times article on Levi’s ethical initiative, November 2014
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