Apparel makers have consistently been appealing to the global buyers and retailers to stand beside by keeping their previous orders so that manufacturers can survive during the coronavirus trouble time.
Since the global buyers, retailers and traders have been cancelling or postponing the orders that they made earlier to the suppliers, Bangladeshi exporters have been writing to them for showing responsible purchase practice.Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), top trade body of apparel makers, individually wrote to the global buyers group to take the orders which were under process and ready for shipment.
BGMEA President Dr Rubana Huq that time openly called upon the international buyers to surface with a renewed pledge to support the workers of Bangladesh.
Till April 8, global buyers have canceled and suspended orders of readymade garment (RMG) products worth more than $3.08 billion from Bangladesh, affecting 2.21 million workers.
Association include Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC), Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association (MGMA), Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PHMA), Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA), Towel Manufacturers Association of Pakistan (TMA), and Vietnam Textile and Garment Association (VITAS).
With the relentless and continuous appeal, some global fashion brands have assured to taking delivery of the products they ordered earlier.
In last week, around 14 global brands made the assurance of taking the orders worth of $1 billion, giving a little relief to some Bangladeshi exporters.According to BGMEA sources, the brands and retailers are H&M, C&A, KappAhl, Tesco, Primark, TARGET, KIABI, Benetton, Decathlon, INDITEX, M&S, Kontoor, PVH Corp and Puma. These brands are from the European Union, North America and the United Kingdom.
Terming the move as positive, BGMEA president expressed her belief that their long time partners won’t abandon during this troubled time.
It is so far good news, but not enough to save the second largest exporting country’s apparel manufactures.
In the face of exporters’ hardship, apparel makers of Asian region have teamed up and appealed the global business to uphold and honor their commitment to labor rights, social responsibility and sustainable supply chains.
With this in mind, nine textile and garment business associations of the STAR Network (Sustainable Textile of Asian Region) from six producing and export countries, made the call to the global brand companies, retailers and traders.
They called on their global partners to honour the terms of purchasing contracts, fulfill obligations therein, and not re-negotiate price or payment terms.
In the joint statement, they appealed the buyers to carefully consider all potential impacts on workers, small businesses in the supply chain when taking significant purchasing decisions.
“Take delivery or shipment, and proceed with payment as agreed upon for goods already produced and currently in production with materials ready, and not cancel orders which are already in production”, said the statement.
They also sought fair compensation to suppliers if production or delivery has to be suspended or stopped, or offer salaries directly to workers of suppliers.
Put no further improper pressure on suppliers by additional costs, rush orders or unnecessary visits and audits and make all efforts and engage with local stakeholders for a better understanding of the local situation and contexts, said the apparel makers to buyers.
They also called for supporting business partners on supply chain as much as possible, and aim at long-term strategy of business continuity, supply chain unity and social sustainability.
“Responsible purchasing practices of brand companies, retailers and traders of the global textile and apparel supply chains, will bring enormous impacts on the fundamental rights of millions of workers and the livelihood of their families in the supplier end” said the trade bodies.