Nine textile and garment manufacturer and business associations from six Asian countries under the The Sustainable Textile of Asian Region (STAR), a platform of apparel exporters in Asia, has called upon the global buyers, brands, retailers and traders to follow responsible purchasing practices in supply chains while making their decisions due to amid the Covid-19 crisis.
The countries include Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Myanmar, Pakistan and Vietnam.The apex apparel exporters’ associations of the countries that meet above 90% of global demand for apparel items through international brands and retailers.
This joint statement was made by 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).
In the statement, the apparel exporters’ platform said during this unprecedented time of global outbreak of Covid-19, “Responsible business has become more important than ever for the whole world to survive and recover from the crisis,”
The joint statement 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.
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 delay of delivery or shipment and for claiming no compensation for such delays and no further improper pressure on suppliers by additional costs, rushing orders or unnecessary visits and audits.
The organisations sought all efforts and engage with local stakeholders for a better understanding of the local situation and contexts.
They underscored the need for dialogue and collaborative settlement to ensure mutually acceptable solutions to disputes.
The organisations sought support for business partners on supply chain as much as possible, and aim at 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.
STAR Network placed a nine-point charter of demands in a joint statement.While talking with BGMEA Director Miran Ali told to local media “We have prepared the joint statement today (Wednesday) which will be sent to the global buyers and retailers soon.”
All the associations of the countries concerned agreed with the points raised in the letter for ensuring the sustainable supply chain and addressing the crisis emerging from the COVID-19 emergency, Miran added.