Garment Industry in Bangladesh Struggles amid Coronavirus Pandemic

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Manage episode 263851052 series 2530089
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Bangladesh’s garment industry is struggling as international fashion brands terminate clothing contracts. Worldwide lockdowns have caused the demand for clothing to significantly fall. This in turn has forced international fashion brands to withdraw their orders worth more than $3 billion from garment factories in Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) estimates that over 50% of around 4.1 million garment laborers in the country were furloughed or dismissed by factory owners. The Bangladesh Commerce Ministry reported that about 15 million jobs in Bangladesh are dependent on the garment industry. Aside from factory workers, other laborers like food sellers and truck drivers are also being affected by the industry’s decline. Most of the dismissed workers belong to the poorest population of the world, and the majority of them are the breadwinners for their families. Factory shutdowns are not the only concern of laid-off workers during the pandemic. Those who live in small villages outside Dhaka, Bangladesh's capital where many garment factories are located, cannot go home to their families because of local travel restrictions. To recover from this crisis, factory owners urged international brands to comply with the provisions of their contracts. A recent survey revealed that most of the canceled orders, which were from the United States and Europe, were already in progress or completed. In response to the factory owners' pleas, some brands have agreed to compensate them for canceled orders that were finished or in-process. Some brands agreed to pay them in full, while others will pay only a portion of the originally agreed price.

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