According to recent feature from The Wall Street Journal, Amazon is selling goods from factories that other leading retailers have deemed “too dangerous to allow into their supply chains.”
Following an extensive investigation, the WSJ “found clothing including pants, sweaters, clerical robes, fishnet body stockings and other items,” that originate from factories that refused to make any safety upgrades after the deadly 2013 Rana Plaza collapse.
The investigation traced a $4.99 “yellow gingham toddler top,” for example, back to a factory in Chittagong, Bangladesh, that “has no fire alarms and where doors are of a type managers can lock and keep workers in” (as one of the factory’s workers put it: “you’re trapped inside until the time you complete the orders”).
WSJ also found apparel on Amazon “made in Bangladeshi factories whose owners have refused to fix safety problems… such as crumbling buildings, broken alarms, and missing sprinklers and fire barriers.”
An Amazon spokesperson told the WSJ that “safety is a top priority,” however the company has refrained from joining any safety-monitoring groups that would require “them to stop selling clothing from factories that violated certain safety standards.”
Amazon also added that it expects wholesalers and third-party sellers “to adhere to [the company’s] safety standards,” however, Amazon’s seller agreement doesn’t “explicitly say [that sellers] must meet those standards,” sending some mixed signals from the jump.
WSJ also found that “Amazon has been expanding its efforts to encourage listings directly from suppliers in Bangladesh,” even having company reps attend seminars that “teach factory owners how to sell on the website without middlemen.”
You can read more about it at The Wall Street Journal.