In a recent survey by The Conference Board showed consumers are expecting steep discounts. In fact, more than a third say they expect – at a minimum – to buy half their gifts at a discount.
“Most consumers will expect bargains, comparison shop, and wait up to the last minute for steep discounts,” said Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board.
This trend of getting cheap fashion apparel among the consumers is deeply worrying and increases the urgency to create sustainability awareness among the consumers.
In a desperate move by the Bangladeshi apparel makers are planning to hold rallies and human chains in major European cities to create awareness among the consumers. As most brands did not increase the price and denied the idea of fixing a base price for garment items.
The situation is so severe that around 39% of Bangladeshi RMG exporters accept prices less than their production costs for the sake of business, a recent study find.
Cheap products should not come at the cost of workers’ miserable life or polluting the environment. Hardworking labors cannot be provided basic necessities due to consumer’s mindset.
The absence of any safeguard mechanism among the international retailers exposed the Bangladeshi manufacturers in this dire situation and paving the way for this type measure, Rubana Huq, President of BGMEA, said recently to a media.
“Most consumers will expect bargains, comparison shop, and wait up to the last minute for steep discounts.”
“The data mentioned in the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) report not only reflects the desperate move by the factories to retain their customers, but also their struggle to avoid any situation leading to insolvency since there is no legal route to safely exit from their investments,” Rubana Huq elaborated.
The apparel production cost increased 30% in last four years. Along with 51% increase in minimum wage of workers.
More worryingly, between fiscal years 2015-16 and 2018-19, the RMG industry’s value addition has gone down 1.61% though the apparel exports have increased during the period.
“This means that the growth is happening in physical terms only. But the value addition per piece of garment has rather declined over year and product diversification is also not taking place at the desired pace,” she said.
Leading industry experts also supported the initiative of holding awareness programs on the proposal to fix a base price.
The awareness programs among the end consumers are needed because they should know that the low prices make poverty permanent in many countries. And the suppliers should also form an association for launching such campaigns, said Syed M Tanvir, a Director of Pacific Jeans, a leading denim jeans exporter, also welcomed the awareness programs.