The owner of Liberty Fashion Wears Ltd, which was shut more than five years ago after its factory was declared vulnerable by an international retailer, wants to resume production.
The closure came after an engineer of the British retail giant Tesco visited the factory in June 2013 and arbitrarily said that the factory building was unsafe without carrying out any inspection and testing the building materials, said Mozammel Huq, managing director of the factory. The second blow for the company came when it was skipped for inspection by the Accord, the European inspection and remediation agency of more than 200 retailers and brands. Later, the engineers of the Accord, however, inspected the factory at Zirani in Savar as per a court order.
“But 14 buyers have left me when the Accord reported that the factory was unsafe,” Huq said. “I want the Accord recommend to its signatories to come back to my factory as I want to resume the production,” he said at a press conference at National Press Club in Dhaka yesterday.
Huq said he did not remediate the factory as per the recommendations of the Accord engineers.
A major supplier to the members of the Accord before the closure, Liberty Fashion used to export garment items worth Tk 350 crore a year and employ 5,000 workers.
It produced clothing items mainly for retailers like Tesco, Primark, Target and Kmart. Huq urged the Accord to withdraw the restriction on his factory.
“My factory building is safe as some other agencies have already inspected the factory and given positive reports on it. But, the Accord said the factory needs remediation.”
The businessman, who invested Tk 200 crore to set up the factory on 22 bighas of land, said he had incurred a loss of Tk 500 crore in lost business due to the closure.
“I have lost almost everything. I have a Tk 140 crore loan with a bank as I could not repay the money.”