Deadly factory incidents in Asia are forcing more Western brands to rethink their search for low production prices.

香港审计和产品检测机构AsiaInspection首席执行长布勒托(Sebastien Breteau)表示,新研究结果表明,2013年亚洲工厂稽核同比增加了61%,这表明更多品牌开始在供应链监督方面进行投资。

这项研究结果出炉两个月前,快消时尚品牌H&M (Hennes & Mauritz)推出了一项计划,目的是确保其孟加拉和柬埔寨制衣工人的工资够他们支付生活费。

According to new research, factory audits in Asia rose 61% in 2013 from a year earlier, a sign that more brands are investing in monitoring their supply chain, according to Sebastien Breteau, chief executive of AsiaInspection, a Hong Kong-based firm that provides auditing and product-testing services.

利丰有限公司(Li & Fung)近来也表示,零售商不像以前那样力推降低成本了。利丰是沃尔玛连锁公司(Wal-Mart Stores Inc.)和Target Corp.等西方品牌的采购代理商。


The research comes two months after fast-fashion brand Hennes & Mauritz AB introduced a plan to ensure that workers making its clothing in Bangladesh and Cambodia are paid wages that cover their cost of living.

低廉的生产价格一直是大品牌追求的关键目标,它们说自己希望节省下来的成本让消费者受益。受中国和亚洲其它地区工资上涨影响,从皮具制造商蔻驰(Coach Inc.)到鞋业公司卡骆驰(Crocs Inc.)再到迅销(Fast Retailing Co.)旗下日本休闲服装连锁店优衣库(Uniqlo)等企业纷纷"转战"其它国家,以期实现生产基地多元化并降低成本。


Li & Fung, the buying agent for major Western brands including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp., also recently said it is seeing less of a push from retailers to lower their costs.

在孟加拉,2012年Tazreen Fashions Ltd.的工厂大火造成逾百人遇难,去年Rana Plaza厂房坍塌导致1,100余人死亡。


'On the global sourcing front, we have witnessed the price deflation trend becoming more subdued this year,' Li & Fung said in its 2013 interim report. 'With the tragedies in Bangladesh, the apparel industry placed a stronger focus on workers' safety, vendor compliance, quality control and sustainability among industry players.'


Low production costs have long been the key goal for major brands, which say they want to pass savings onto consumers. Rising wages in China and elsewhere in Asia sent companies from leather-goods maker Coach Inc. to clog-maker Crocs Inc. and Japan's casual-clothing chain Uniqlo, operated by Fast Retailing Co., hopscotching to other countries to diversify their manufacturing bases and cut costs.

超过100家服装公司签订了一份为期五年、具有法律约束力的孟加拉国安全协议,其中包括思捷环球控股有限公司(Esprit Holdings,简称:思捷环球)、迅销和Zara的母公司Inditex SA。根据这份《孟加拉国消防和建筑安全协议》(Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh)的规定,参与稽核的公司承诺为必要的工厂翻新和改造买单。这些公司还说,它们不会委托没有达到安全标准的制造商从事代工生产。

与此同时,一个服装业组织公布了其成员公司在孟加拉国委托的超过1,500个工厂的名单。该组织代表包括H&M、Inditex和意大利的贝纳通(Benetton SpA)等公司。

Yet now, more retailers are paying attention to how their drive for lower costs could impactworker safety after some high-profile factory disasters.


H&M负责可持续发展的全球负责人赫尔默松(Helena Helmersson)去年11月说,服装工人的工资应该能够养活自己。

In Bangladesh, a factory fire at Tazreen Fashions Ltd. killed more than 100 workers in 2012 while last year's collapse of the Rana Plaza building killed more than 1,100.



'It is a milestone year' for retailers, said Mr. Breteau. While major companies remain 'reluctant, they're accepting more and more of an increase' in prices from factories.



Factory safety agreements that followed the Bangladesh disasters suggest retailers and brands are trying to strike a balance between cost and safety.

据劳工维权组织中国劳工通讯(China Labour Bulletin)发言人郭展睿(Geoffrey Crothall)说,大部分西方公司仍坚决要求低价格和严格的交货时间,这可能迫使工厂走捷径。


More than 100 apparel companies including Esprit Holdings, Fast Retailing and Zara parent Inditex SA signed a five-year, legallybinding Bangladesh safety agreement. Under the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, participating companies commit to paying for necessary factory repairs and renovations. They also say they won't hire manufacturers whose factories fail to meet safety standards.



Meanwhile, an apparel trade group representing companies including H&M, Inditex and Italy's Benetton SpA published a list of the more than 1,500 factories the brands use in Bangladesh.


Kathy Chu