4.1 million peoples-oriented Bangladesh textile and apparel industry is passing a baleful time as the COVID-19 crisis escalates. The novel coronavirus pandemic has led to worldwide store closures and now many brands are refusing to accept completed garment orders, which they would no doubt struggle to sell during the current global lockdowns. Till now over $3 billion orders have been canceled from brands and buyers.
According to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Rubana Huq, many garment factories in Bangladesh have received impersonal corporate emails from brands canceling garment orders.
She asked for brands for the sake of the survival of the factories and workers to accept the goods that are ready to be shipped and pay the full cost (under flexible terms & conditions) or at least compensate factories for sunk costs of any in-process manufacturing.
Finally, global giant fashion brands are responding. H&M, responded on March 27 as follows:
“We will stand by our commitments to our garment manufacturing suppliers by taking delivery of the already produced garments as well as goods in production. We will pay for these goods and we will do it under currently agreed payment terms. In addition, we will not negotiate prices on already placed orders.”
Meanwhile, five more fashion brands came forward by confirming to BGMEA that they will receive ready-made garments that had already been ready to ship and were in the process of being made against their running orders.
Marks & Spencer, PVH, Inditex, KIABI & Target confirmed of taking goods that are in the seas, ready to be shipped and work in progress. Among the retailers, three from the European Union and the rest two from North America.
Hopefully, the situation will get normal within the next few months. Till then manufacturers need basic support from the brands and buyers to survive.