As Taiwan warns of more aftershocks following the earthquake that has killed at least 12 people and is said to have injured more than 1,000 so far, associate professor in the Department of Fashion Studies at the University of Delaware, Dr Sheng Lu, told Just Style exclusively 5% of China and Vietnam’s textile and apparel exports to the world were intermediates supplied by Taiwan.

He explained this is based on the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)’s global value chain analysis.

Lu was quick to point out the earthquake’s direct impact on the apparel supply chain could be minimal, but stated: “It is another reminder of the importance of supply chain risk management for fashion companies”.

According to global news publication Aljazeera the earthquake in the mountainous and sparsely populated eastern county of Hualien has left hundreds stranded as landslides cut off roads with rescuers in a race against time to conduct rescues around the aftershocks.

Wednesday’s earthquake was described by the news site as the most severe in a quarter-century, however global news publication CNN claimed that since its last major earthquake in 1999 the country’s “government has strengthened disaster management laws, improved coordination for rescue and relief, and enforced stricter building codes for earthquake resistance”.

In 2010 Taiwan suffered a magnitude 6.4 earthquake in its Kaohsiung County which saw a textile warehouse go up in flames and power outages being reported across the country with one worker reported as injured.

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In January 2024 fashion brands responded to a Clean Clothes Campaign report (CCC) claiming garment workers faced adverse working conditions following Türkiye’s February 2023 earthquake that impacted 1,616 garment and 1,290 textile companies operating within the provinces that were affected.