True Cost Video ImageIn April 2013 the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1130 and injuring approximately 2500 garment workers and children in the daycare facilities in the building.  Survivors said they had been evacuated from the building on Tuesday after several cracks appeared, but their employers had ordered them to return to work the next day.  Several garment factories in the building manufactured apparel for brands including Benetton, Bonmarché,  the Children’s Place, El Corte Inglés, Joe Fresh, Monsoon Accessorize, Mango, Matalan, Primark, and Walmart.

Global Exchange joined the International Campaign for Labor Rights and other allies in campaigning actively for apparel companies to sign onto the legally-binding Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, a joint agreement with unions to ensure urgently needed factory renovations to help prevent future disasters and save garment workers’ lives. We also called on multinational apparel brands and retailers to pay full and fair compensation to the injured workers and families of the deceased. Following a series of demonstrations, the victims finally received their full compensation in mid-2015.

Since then, the ILRF, the Clean Clothes Campaign, United Students Against Sweatshops, and other allies have been monitoring how well the 200+ apparel companies that have signed onto the Accord are upholding their commitments. These groups decided to focus on H&M because H&M is the largest buyer of clothing from Bangladesh (even bigger than Walmart) and the company was the first to join the Accord. H&M uses a whopping 229 factories in Bangladesh.

In two reports (see links below) the ILRF looked at H&M’s most strategic suppliers and found that while the company has been making some improvements in response to campaign pressure, the vast majority of its supplier factories have still not made all the required renovations despite inspections being completed over a year ago. Moreover, 55% of H&M’s preferred suppliers still lack adequate fire exits. And yet H&M touts itself as a leader in social responsibility globally and a leader in the Bangladeshi garment industry.

Global Exchange will host a free screening of The True Cost, a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story of the human and environmental costs as the price of our “fast fashion” clothing continues to decrease. Filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, and featuring interviews with the world’s leading influencers including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth and Vandana Shiva, The True Cost asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing?

Join us for a free screening of The True Cost 
Sunday, April 24th at 6-8pm
Global Exchange Office
2017 Mission Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA, 94110
For more information contact:

 Then join Global Exchange and concerned citizens around the world in a global day of action on the day of H&M’s Annual General Meeting…

Global Day of Action
Tuesday May 3rd, 5:30 to 6:30pm
in front of the H&M store in downtown San Francisco
150 Powell St. at O’Farrell (one block from the Powell Street BART)


  • ILRF report on H&M Pt. I:
  •  ILRF report on H&M Pt. II: