A new initiative is offering consumers the chance to purchase clothing from cancelled apparel orders from Bangladesh in a move aimed at helping support the industry and its workers through the coronavirus pandemic.
Bangladesh’s garment sector has lost over US$3bn in cancelled or suspended orders, according to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA). The new venture, Lost Stock, is selling the clothes at half the price in boxes based on customer’s preferences.
Created by online clothing retailer platform Mallzee, consumers can purchase a GBP35 (US$43) box of women’s or menswear after answering a few questions about their size and taste in clothes. Lost Stock will select tops, T-shirts and shirts that would have been stocked by high street brands, and will otherwise be headed for landfill.
“Covid-19 has had a massive impact on the supply chain in the retail industry,” Mallzee says on the Lost Stock website. “Over $2bn worth of clothes orders have been cancelled in developing countries, with no payment being made to manufacturers. This means that workers aren’t getting paid either. In Bangladesh, the garment industry accounts for 84% of the country’s exports, with 2.28 million workers affected. This huge disruption in the supply chain is the reason we want to help.”
Each box supports a worker and their family for a week and the goal is to help support 50,000 workers by the end of 2020. As of 23 May, Mallzee said the venture had surpassed its initial target of 10,000 by the end of May and was on-track to help more than 40,000.
Mallzee has partnered with Bangladesh NGO Sajida Foundation on the project to donate 37% of the cost of a box to help its work. Product costs account for 30%, while 12% is postage. The remaining cost is allocated to transport and logistics, staff costs, and a transaction charge.
“We’re delighted to partner with Sajida Foundation to donate a significant portion of each box to their mission of ‘health, happiness and dignity for all,” says Mallzee. “Their work across 26 districts of Bangladesh is helping those who need it most. In response to Covid-19, their team of over 3,700 people has aided over 50,000 households with food and hygiene packages, distributed over 18,000 sets of PPE and installed 475 portable hand washing devices throughout the country, and that’s not all. Each Lost Stock box sold will support a worker and their family for one week.”