According to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), export orders cancelled or suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic amount to US$3.18 billion, representing 982 million pieces of clothing and affecting 2.28 million workers. “BGMEA has taken the stand of blacklisting specific buyers and have begun with the Philip Day’s Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM)”, Rubana Huq, President, BGMEA, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “Severing business with them is not the ultimate means we should pursue. However, we will definitely take this position where we see buyers wilfully attempt to exploit the suppliers”. BGMEA’s portfolio includes Peacocks, Jaeger, Bonmarché and Austin Reed. The Group allegedly owes US$2 million to US$3 million to Bangladeshi factories.

Bangladesh’s garment exports fell 84% in the first half of April. The country is the second biggest international supplier of clothing to Western brands after China, and relies on the garment industry for more than 80% of its exports. Its 4,000 factories employ about four million people, mostly women. 

Source: Hindustan Times/Forbes