Bangladesh: Latest apparel and textile news & analysis
With the global garment market still growing fast, Bangladesh needs to seize the so-called ‘China-plus’ opportunity while penetrating new markets and diversifying its products, a Dhaka conference has heard.
A helpline set up to monitor conditions in Bangladesh's garment factories by encouraging workers to report abuses using their mobile phones has received a total of 92,416 calls since its launch two years ago. But while the initiative is giving retailers and brands more insight into what's really going on in their supply chains, technology alone is not the solution.
The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety says it is working on a plan to hand over responsibility for its affiliated garment factories to the country's government in 2018, and has revealed around 63% of remediation work has been completed to date.
Bangladesh's apparel makers have invested heavily in improving factory safety since the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster, but global buyers are still failing to pay fair prices and following non-transparent purchasing practices, a conference in Dhaka has heard.
Bangladesh's garment exporters have reiterated that business continues as usual in the country, despite tightening security following recent terrorist attacks in the country and wider fears of a long-term impact on the sector.
Calls for the formal registration of the Orchid Sweater Workers Union in Bangladesh have garnered support from affiliates of the IndustriAll global union.
Bangladesh exported garments worth around US$18.44bn in the first eight months of the current 2016-17 fiscal year, growing by around 2.8% on last year, new figures show.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Telenor Health, an offshoot of mobile giant Telenor Group, aimed at using digital and mobile technology to boost the health and wellbeing of the country's garment workers.
The Bangladesh government has responded to pressure over its crackdown on labour activists after a number of global brands and retailers pulled out of this week's Dhaka Apparel Summit in protest.
The Bangladesh apparel industry is calling for duty-free access to the US for its ready made garments manufactured from cotton imported from America.
A cohort of leading apparel companies, including Spanish clothing giant Inditex, have withdrawn from the Dhaka Apparel Summit, organised by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
The crackdown on Bangladesh labour activists has cost the country's garment industry around US$100m, its trade body says, as well as growing international concern regarding the treatment of garment workers.
The Bangladesh Water PaCT (Partnership for Cleaner Textile) initiative is preparing to launch the second phase of the programme, expanding its focus to the whole value chain, as it revealed its achievements to date.
The US Government has assessed the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka as a "high threat" location for terrorist activity, heightening safety fears for foreign garment buyers visiting the country.
A slew of protests will be held over the next 48 hours to express the growing international concern regarding the treatment of garment workers, trade union leaders and worker activists in Bangladesh.
The explosive growth of the Bangladeshi ready-made garment industry is more likely to be accompanied by accusations of sweatshop exploitation from labour rights activists than praise for the positive opportunities it brings the sector's largely-women workforce.
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