Italian fashion firm Benetton originally said it wasn’t making clothes in the Bangladesh garment factory that collapsed last week, killing hundreds of workers. Then, when Benetton shirts turned up in the building’s rubble, the company acknowledged a “one-time order” from a manufacturer in the factory. But now Benetton has a new version of events, saying it had “occasionally” sourced clothing from the factory but ended the relationship after learning of unsafe working conditions there.
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Benetton’s ever-lengthening and increasingly contrite statements reveal a company caught on the defensive and trapped between its progressive values and a complex supply chain that largely relies on cheap labor in Bangladesh.
Most of all, it just looks bad. Here’s how the company’s statements have evolved since the factory collapse in Dhaka, where the death toll stands officially at 386 but could ultimately rise above 1,000: