Responsible purchasing practices of brand companies, retailers and traders of the global textile and apparel supply chains, would bring enormous impacts on the fundamental rights of millions of workers
Suppliers from six major apparel exporting countries including Bangladesh and China yesterday urged global brands and retailers for taking deliveries of clothes against their orders at the agreed prices.
The apex apparel exporters’ associations of the countries that meet above 90% of global demand for apparel items through international brands and retailers made the call amid the surging order cancellations from the buyers, shaking the industry badly and putting livelihoods of millions of workers at risks.
They urged the buyers to practice responsible purchasing norms so that labor rights, social responsibility and sustainable supply chains were protected during the COVID-19 emergency.
STAR Network (Sustainable Textile of Asian Region) that comprises apparel producing and exporting associations from six countries made their demands and observations in a joint statement on Wednesday.
The trade associations are 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).
“During this unprecedented time of global outbreak of the COVID-19, responsible business has become more important than ever for the whole world to survive and recover from the crisis,” reads the STAR Network statement.
Especially, responsible purchasing practices of brand companies, retailers and traders of the global textile and apparel supply chains, would bring enormous impacts on the fundamental rights of millions of workers and the livelihoods of their families in the supplier end, added the statement.
“It is time for global businesses to uphold and honor their commitment to labor rights, social responsibility and sustainable supply chains.”
In the statement, the network urged to consider all potential impacts on workers, small businesses in the supply chain when taking significant purchasing decisions; while honoring the terms of purchasing contracts, fulfill obligations therein, and not re-negotiate price or payment terms.
In addition, it called to 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 were already in production.
It also demanded fair compensation to suppliers (100% FOB) if production or delivery were suspended or stopped.
The manufacturers and the exporters also called for not putting further improper pressure on suppliers by additional costs, rush orders or unnecessary visits and audits, underscoring the need for dialogue and collaborative settlement to ensure mutually acceptable solutions to disputes.
Lastly, it sought support from business partners on supply chain as much as possible, and aimed at long-term strategy of business continuity, supply chain unity and social sustainability.
“We appreciate the understanding, collaboration and support of our business partners and other stakeholders, and we are ready to work with all responsible buyers globally to get through this crisis, towards a shared bright future,” concluded the statement.
Talked, BGMEA Director Miran Ali told Dhaka Tribune “We have prepared the joint statement today (Wednesday) which will be sent to the global buyers and retailers soon.”
All the associations of the countries concerned agreed with the points raised in the letter for ensuring the sustainable supply chain and addressing the crisis emerging from the COVID-19 emergency, Miran added.