Bangladesh, along with five other garment manufacturing countries, has urged global brands, retailers and traders to consider all potential impacts on workers and small businesses in supply chains while taking purchasing decisions.
Nine textile and garment trade associations of STAR Network (Sustainable Textile of Asian Region) from these garment exporting countries also called on their global partners to honour the terms of purchasing contracts, fulfil obligations, and not re-negotiate prices or payment terms.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC), Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association (MGMA), Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PHMA), Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA), Towel Manufacturers Association of Pakistan (TMA) and Vietnam Textile and Garment Association (VITAS) made the joint statement on Wednesday.
They called on the brands to take delivery or shipment and proceed with payment as agreed upon for goods already produced and currently in production with materials ready and not to cancel orders that are already in production.
"Responsible business has become more important than ever for the whole world to survive and recover from the crisis," said the joint statement.
Especially, responsible purchasing practices of brand companies, retailers and traders of the global textile and apparel supply chains will bring enormous impacts on the fundamental rights of millions of workers and the livelihood of their families on the suppliers' end, the statement reads.
"It is time for global businesses to uphold and honour their commitment to labour rights, social responsibility and sustainable supply chains," the trade bodies added.
They called for putting no responsibility on suppliers for any delay of delivery or shipment, and for claiming no compensation for any such delay and no further improper pressure on suppliers with additional costs, rushing orders or unnecessary visits and audits.
They sought all efforts and engagement with local stakeholders for a better understanding of the local situation and contexts.
Underscoring the need for dialogue and collaborative settlement to ensure mutually acceptable solutions to disputes, they sought support for business partners on supply chains as much as possible, and aimed at a long-term strategy of business continuity, supply chain unity and social sustainability.
"We appreciate the understanding, collaboration and support of our business partners and other stakeholders, and we are ready to work and walk with all responsible buyers globally to get through this crisis, towards a shared bright future," said the joint statement.
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