At Randall’s Island, site of this year’s Frieze New York, beneath slapping streamers, on the walls at the gates, were logos for the fair’s sponsors. One of those was:
Joe Fresh, a Canadian brand caught red-handed just weeks before in one of the most fatal of the recent factory accidents in Bangladesh. Frieze was not without its own labor disputes, and the less-than-Fresh reminder made the experience of the fair—with its leitmotifs of yoga mat, ethnic print, and mirror art—all the more nauseating.
The seasons are changing and the high street stores are packed. Many of the goods you’ll find stocked in shops like H&M and Joe Fresh were likely produced in the very conditions that are now under attack. This might not be true in a couple season’s time. Thanks to public outrage and some humiliating activist tactics, like this widely circulated image of a smiling H&M CEO juxtaposed with an anguished woman at the Rana Plaza rubble (subtitle: “Enough Fashion Victims?”), many brands, including H&M, Joe Fresh, Carrefour, Marks & Spencer, and Zara’s parent brand, Inditex, are signing an agreement that will help improve standards in Bangladesh and other low-cost countries.
Here is a list of the brands that, as of this past Friday, had refused to sign the accord:
American Eagle Outfitters
The Children’s Place
Jezebel examined some of the reasons why these brands won’t sign, most of which are weak sauce. The aforelisted resisters may not have been obviously incriminated in the recent news but they are just as liable as the red handed Joes. Public pressure helped push H&M to sign, let’s keep challenging the rest to too.