Campaigners set up fashion watchdog to stop “unacceptable buying practices” uncovered by researchers, who named high-street shops Zara and Primark as among companies abusing suppliers I am asking you to
In a survey of 1,000 manufacturers in Bangladesh, the researchers found that despite the large brands falling below production costs and rising raw material costs, most of the factories did the same to the largest retailers. I discovered that I paid the price.
In a study by the University of Aberdeen and the charity Transform Trade released on Sunday, the authors of the report named 1,138 brands whose suppliers contracted in February 2020, 37% of which reportedly engaged in unfair practices. ing.
More than half of suppliers said they suffered from unfair purchasing practices such as cancellations, payment defaults, late payments, and discount requests, with ramifications such as forced overtime and harassment.
Fiona Gooch, Senior Policy Advisor at Transform Trade, described the findings as “alarm bells.”
“We need fashion watchdogs to thwart unacceptable buying practices of clothing retailers who profit from a large consumer market, similar to existing protections for food suppliers,” she said. Told.
“Suppliers can provide good working conditions for their employees only if they can plan ahead with confidence that they will earn what they expect.”
Zara had 90 factories producing for the brand in March 2020, according to reports.
Researchers found that 31% of factories reported canceling or partially canceling orders, 27% offered markdowns, 10% received orders the company refused to pay for in transit or during production, and 30% reported that their payments were at least three months late.
Meanwhile, Primark, which worked on products at 35 factories, canceled or partially canceled orders from 34% of the factories surveyed, reduced the price of orders by 20%, and 11% of the factories reportedly I reported a late payment.
A study called Impact of Global Garment Retailers’ Unfair Practices on Bangladeshi Suppliers During Covid-19 Reported Many Companies Are Buying from Factories Facing Rising Costs of Raw Materials and nearly 1 in 5 reported having trouble paying their Bangladeshi suppliers. Minimum wage he £2.30 per day.
Surveys of suppliers show that large brands that buy from many factories are more often involved in unfair purchasing practices than smaller brands, and all brands that buy from 15 or more factories have these reportedly involved in at least one of the practices.
The study also found that garment factories cut their workforce by a quarter after the lockdown. The report’s authors suggest that up to 900,000 workers may have lost their jobs.
Garment manufacturing has become the most important manufacturing sector in Bangladesh, accounting for 20% of GDP. It employs about 4 million workers and more than 12 million depend on the sector for their livelihoods, researchers said.
“When a retailer violates pre-arranged terms and treats suppliers badly, it’s the workers who suffer,” Gooch said.
“When retailers don’t pay agreed amounts or delay payments, suppliers have to find other ways to cut costs, and this can be passed on to the least powerful employees in the supply chain. often,” she said.
“Reports of rehiring with poor wages and conditions, bullying and unpaid overtime are foreseeable consequences. We need a fashion watchdog to regulate UK clothing retailers in the same manner as the existing supermarket watchdog. am.”
Supermarkets have Grocery Code Adjudicators, watchdogs that enforce statutory codes of conduct that prohibit certain unfair purchasing practices by large retailers for groceries and grocery suppliers, regardless of location. .
We reached out to Primark and Zara for comment.