Macalester’s Social Responsibility Committee (SRC), made up of Macalester faculty, students and staff representatives, has recommended to President Brian Rosenberg that all vendors of campus apparel, including the Highlander Store, sign what’s known as the Bangladeshi Accord on Fire and Building Safety, an independent agreement designed to make all garment factories in Bangladesh safe workplaces. It includes independent safety inspections at factories and public reporting of the results of these inspections.

Earlier, Macalester’s MPIRG (Minnesota Public Interest Research Group) Economic Justice Task Force had presented a proposal to the SRC that Macalester join other institutions and the Workers Rights Consortium (of which Macalester is a member) in mandating apparel companies sign the Accord. The SRC endorsed this proposal and recommended to Rosenberg that he send a letter to VF Corporation, parent company of Jansport apparel, one of the Highlander Store’s product lines, asking them to be a signatory. 

Rosenberg agreed and sent a letter to VF Corporation dated today.

“Macalester is committed to ending purchases from suppliers who are not signatories of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh,” Rosenberg stated.  “Our other suppliers have already signed the Accord. We hope that VF Corporation will join them so that we may continue to offer Jansport products to our students and alumni.”

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 2,011 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism, and civic engagement. Learn more at

April 3 2014

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