As consumers, we often take for granted the clothes we wear and the people who make them. However, a recent report by the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights highlights the harsh reality of the impact that purchasing practices of clothing brands and retailers have on garment workers in Bangladesh.
Despite the improvements made in factory safety in large export-focused factories, major brands are still failing to take responsibility for the effects their policies and practices have on poor garment workers, even after a decade of factory-safety reform. The COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened the situation, with clothing brands and retailers engaging in harsh measures such as delaying payments, cancelling orders, and reducing prices unreasonably.
The report recommends that brands and retailers need to reform their purchasing practices to prioritize the well-being of factory workers. Here are some practical solutions suggested in the report:
- End unreasonable price reductions and excessive discounting practices
- Cease the delay of order delivery and commit to payment timelines that account for raw material purchases
- Recognize supplier projections as firm commitments
- Increase transparency and communication with third-party sourcing agents
- Reconcile commitments to factory safety and worker wellbeing with commercial commitments to manufacturers
Taking responsibility for the effects of policies and practices on poor garment workers is crucial for ensuring fair and just working conditions. As consumers, we can also play a role in supporting ethical and sustainable fashion. By choosing to buy from brands that prioritize worker rights and ethical production practices, we can create a demand for a more responsible and sustainable fashion industry.
In conclusion, the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights report highlights the urgent need for clothing brands and retailers to prioritize the wellbeing of garment workers in Bangladesh. By implementing the practical solutions recommended in the report, we can work towards a more responsible and sustainable fashion industry that benefits everyone involved.
Read the full report :- https://bhr.stern.nyu.edu/manufacturing-buyersupplier-2023