- Kristopher Fraser |
As the world's second largest apparel producer after China, Bangladesh is feeling the ripple effects of the fashion industry which has been heavily hit by coronavirus. The country is expected to lose 6 billion dollars this year from cancelled orders from major fashion retailers. The news was reported by Reuters.
Cancellation orders continue to rise daily among manufacturers as many retailers don't know when they'll be able to open physical stores again, and e-commerce isn't enough to keep businesses afloat, especially with people losing their jobs left and right with the economy virtually being on pause.
This loss of business could be detrimental to poor communities in South Asia. Bangladesh's garment industry has been built by low wage workers, with over 4 million workers being employed in the manufacturing industry. 84 percent of the country's exports came from the garment industry.
Orders until July have been cancelled or suspended, and buyers are taking a wait-and-see approach to placing orders. Bangladesh's prime minister Sheikh Hasina unveiled a 588 million dollar package for the garment industry that is intended to be used to pay workers. Factories are doing their best not to shut down, but with no hard date in sight for when stores could reopen they may be forced to weigh that as an option.