Philip Green, the CEO of the Arcadia Group which owns Topshop, has said that many commentators and critics used his business as a "battering ram" following the factory collapse in Bangladesh earlier this year.
Rana Plaza, an eight-storey textile factory building in a Dhaka suburb, collapsed due to shoddy construction in April, killing 1,129 people and injuring over 2,000. It emerged that many retailers such as Matalan, Bonmarché and Primark used the services of workers at Rana Plaza, and the collapse highlighted the poor working conditions and unsafe construction methods used in order to satisfy demand for affordable goods in the West.
Following the disaster, many retailers such as Marks & Spencer, H&M and Next signed up to the Bangladesh Safety Accord to improve working conditions. Green decided not to do so at the time and was widely criticized. In September, the group did finally agree to the accord.
Responding to the last few months of criticism and scrutiny since the Rana Plaza accident, Green told CNBC Meets' Tania Bryer, "Everybody's trying to use Topshop as a battering ram just to prove a point. We haven't been a big user of Bangladesh."
Green said Topshop had only "done $20,000 or $25,000 worth of business in Bangladesh in a period of a year."
He continued, "But I think, of course you're upset and sad when you're seeing people in the same industry, you become part of it. And therefore people come to us, yes, we have to try and help where we can to make sure that the conditions that people are working in, the types of factories that we're making goods in, are at a certain standard."
Rana Plaza's collapse was not the first such disaster in Bangladesh. In 2005, 64 workers died at the collapse of the Spectrum sweater factory, which was used by Inditex, Zara's owner.