Fires Wreck Garment Factories in South Africa, Philippines, Pakistan

Updated: May 19

By Sourcing Journal

This article was published in Sourcing Journal May 11, 2021. We're sharing because it highlights the ongoing need for brands and retailers to be more transparent and accountable when it comes to potential workplace hazards for garment workers across the globe. On the regulatory front, it also identifies growing interest in global policy related to factory safety that would have a significant impact on sewn product supply chains. Factory fires are a concern all over the world, including in the United States.

As the article mentions the Bangladesh Accord, we also wanted to share this Just-Style article that discusses the future of the agreement and its impact.

Fires that continue to plague the global garment industry lend credence to calls by labor advocates for an Accord for Fire and Building Safety that covers not just Bangladesh but all textile-producing countries.

One conflagration broke out at a multi-story textile factory in the city center of Durban in South Africa Monday, causing severe damage that spilled over to a nearby building, though firefighters were able to evacuate all occupants and extinguish the flames before they grew out of control, local media reported. Robert Mckenzie, a spokesman for KZN Emergency Medical Services, said there were no reported injuries and that the cause of the fire is as yet unknown.

Over in the Philippines, a garment facility in Golden Mile Business Park in the Cavite province of Carmona burst into flames Tuesday, sending fire trucks from Bacoor, General Mariano Alvarez, General Trias, Silang and Biñan, Laguna to help put out the blaze.

A witness told the Manila Bulletin that the fire started on the second floor of the building, where textiles were being stored. No casualties were reported. While the cause of the fire is still under investigation, the damage was estimated at 15 million Philippine pesos, or $313,500.