In March of 2020, 66 factory fires were reported throughout the global fashion supply chain, meaning more than two fires per day were reported across the globe; India having 20 fires that month alone (Source: GoBlue). All around the world garment factories and workers have fallen victim to factory fires. These fires are typically started by old machinery and chemicals used during production. Although every case is different the trauma and lives lost are equally as upsetting. Even today these garment factory fires are still happening. Here's what we can learn from the garment factory fires that occurred in the last year.
Garment Factory Fire in India
In February of 2020, one of the largest denim suppliers in the world, Nandan Denim’s, two story factory caught fire killing at least seven workers. Unfortunately, many factories do not have an emergency plan in place in the event of a factory fire. In the case of the Nandan Denim factory fire, it was reported that only a single ladder was in place to help escape and reach the emergency exit door in the building (Source: The Washington Post).
Factory Fire In Cairo, Egypt
A factory fire this past March occurred in a four-story clothing factory in Cairo Egypt killing 20 workers and injuring 24. Factory fires throughout Egypt have happened consistently in recent years because safety standard and other safety measures are not being enforced. This factory fire has been under investigation but was likely caused by old machinery in the factory (Source: DW News).
New Delhi Handbag Factory
In December, a factory fire swept through the 6-story building killing at least 43 workers while sleeping. The fire spread quickly due to the raw materials, that were used to make handbags, stored inside of the building. Thankfully, 50 workers were saved but most of them were affected because of the smoke (Business of Fashion). The direct cause of the factory fire is still unknown, but had the workers been given a safe space to sleep for the night, the loss of their lives could have been avoided.
How do we help prevent factory fires?
Start by, ensuring that your factory has been audited by an ethical labor certification to monitor their safety standards. From there, plan for a reasonable production timeline since many factory fires occur during the busy season when corners get cut to rush production.
If you would like to work with an ethical factory but don't know where to find them join the THR3EFOLD Ethical Manufacturing Platform and get unlimited access to a database of ethically certified factories across a variety of categories, countries, and quantities. Schedule a demo call with our team to see if we can solve your production needs today.