Recently on May 19, a Dhaka court has imposed a temporary injunction on British clothing brand Peacocks from doing business with any garment factories in Bangladesh using the brand name “Peacock”. Peacocks is a fast-fashion retail chain from the United Kingdom based in Cardiff, Wales.
The court said the injunction would remain effective till the submission of a written objection by the defendant, setting July 4 as the next hearing date. Peacocks is a subsidiary of Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM).
The injunction was imposed after four Bangladeshi readymade garment exporters – Designtex Knitwear, Designtex Fashion, Knit Bazaar, and Bottoms Gallery – filed on March 14 a claim, seeking Tk 5.98 crore in payments from EWM for items they had delivered.
The court said if the injunction was not imposed, the defendant would continue to defraud and harm Bangladesh’s garment sector.
“Granting injunction will send a worldwide message that Bangladesh will not be exploited by unethical buyers anymore,” it added.
Now no local manufacturers would be able to make Peacocks products because of the court order.
The EWM lawyer sought more time during the last hearing, but the court rejected the plea. If they submit an explanation in black and white at the next hearing, we will still urge the court to uphold the injunction.
This judgment will put pressure on EWM to clear its dues.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Vice-President Miran Ali described the injunction as a very good decision by the court. He said the customs should now execute the order strictly.
The BGMEA claimed EWM and its subsidiaries owe Bangladeshi apparel suppliers about 27 million pounds.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, EWM cancelled work orders of $8.2 million without any warning, forcing the BGMEA to write to EWM owner Philip Day in May 2020.
The BGMEA and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association wrote the letter jointly, asking why the payments were being delayed. After receiving no answer, the BGMEA threatened to ban EWM as well as its affiliates and third parties, such as agents, importers, and full-service suppliers, who do business with them directly or indirectly.
Bank information shows Philip and EWM owned Tk 2,670 crore and Tk 12,950 crore in profit respectively till March 2, 2019.