An online petition on change.org is calling all major fast fashion brands to pay the garments factories they use for all cancelled and delayed orders as a result of the Coronavirus crisis.
Launched on April 3rd by Remake, a registered non-profit organisation that exists to shed light on human rights violations and climate injustice being caused by the fashion industry, the petition explains that some of the major fashion companies owe over $3 billion worth of orders to garments factories in Bangladesh.
“This issue is global, with garment factories facing similar fates all around the world,” reads the petition. “Unless H&M, Target, Zara, C&A, and others #PayUp millions of garment makers will go hungry and not survive. Many have already been sent home with no severance, savings and or access to healthcare. With no source of income, millions of women who bring our fashion to life will end up starving and on the streets within weeks.”
Bangladesh’s garment industry accounts for roughly 80% of the country’s exports, making its economy and the livelihood of its population reliant on apparel orders from the United States and Europe. “Brands must pay for in-production and cancelled orders, rather than abandon their supply chain partners and the women who have kept their businesses profitable for decades,” demands the organisation.
According to Remake, the top 15 brands that are yet to pay their suppliers include Zara, Primark, PVH, Target, Marks & Spencer, C&A, Mothercare, Bestseller, Tesco, Kohls, Walmart, LPP, JC Penney, Gap and American Eagle Outfitters. Amongst them, H&M, Kiabi, and VF Corporation have now begun making payments to suppliers, although no time commitment has been given to ensure that these payments reach garment makers before it is too late.
By Alice Ierace