UK-based fair trade watchdog Traidcraft Exchange has criticised fashion brands and retailers for failing to honor their contracts as they continued to cancel those or stop payments to suppliers from poorer countries including Bangladesh over the Covid-19 outbreak.
The group described their actions as harassment, which exposed to danger the lives of millions of workers who manufacture products for them. It has called on British fashion brands to put on public record their commitment to honor contracts with suppliers so that workers in poorer countries are paid for work they have already done.
The group says they were noting increasing number of reports that the UK brands were cancelling orders, delaying payment terms and refusing to pay suppliers even for completed goods in countries like Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India and Vietnam. High-street retailers’ store closure policy to adjust to the new reality left millions of people who make clothes and shoes for the UK market destitute, as factories shut down or lay off workers
The Traidcraft Exchange has prepared a proposal for a bailout of garment supply chains through the coronavirus crisis, with immediate, medium and long-term actions. It sets out how action by the international community could help establish social protection floors in countries where garment production takes place.