ICAC’s ‘Cotton Connects’ Videos to keep people informed throughout the COVID-19 Crisis

Having reliable information to base decisions on is critical during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has thrown the global cotton supply chain into utter chaos. As governments, organisations and individuals try to deal with the fast-moving virus, the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) has introduced a tool to help the industry stay connected.

‘Cotton Connects’ is a series of short videos (5-10 minutes) in which members of the ICAC Secretariat interview cotton and textile leaders from all over the world to see how the supply chain is coping with an unprecedented amount of upheaval and uncertainty.
In the first video posted today, ICAC Executive Director Kai Hughes speaks with Dr Rubana Huq, President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), to see how the crippled global economy is affecting the textile manufacturing sector. Textile workers, among the most vulnerable people in the entire supply chain, are becoming desperate as billions of dollars of orders have already been cancelled.
Dr Huq realises the difficult position that all businesses have been put in by COVID-19, including brands and retailers, and says that the Bangladeshi textile industry is being as flexible as possible despite the dire circumstances. Unfortunately, the approach is having little success.
‘We have given multiple options to our buyers’, Dr Huq told Mr Hughes. ‘We have said, “If you don’t have storage space, we will give you storage space. We will consider the goods shipped as soon as they leave the factory. If you can’t pay us then, tell us you can pay us 90 days, or 180 days”. We have no problem with that. Three very responsible brands have stepped forward and said, “We will take [the garments you already have in production]”, but none of the others have’.
Going forward, the ICAC will publish the Cotton Connects video interviews twice each week in an effort to keep the industry informed during the crisis — and to ensure everyone in the supply chain is ready to resume working as soon as it passes.
To see the interview with Dr Huq, please click here.