Chaos disrupts H&M's sourcing
Published: Jun 01, 2012
Bangladesh – Swedish clothing brand Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) is planning to source more products from Bangladesh but is held back due to the country's political unrest and strikes.
Helena Helmersson, head of sustainability at H&M, said the unrest could "disrupt production and cause delays", as much as the company is keen to develop itself in Bangladesh, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
The Swedish retailer currently manufactures 25% of its products in Bangladesh and is looking to expand in the country.
However, the country has been facing political instability in the last month on top of its overall poor working conditions.
Twenty-one workers were killed in 2010 when a factory manufacturing products for H&M and other retailers caught fire.
H&M has since held discussions with the government, unions and suppliers about its expansion plans and issues, Dow Jones Newswires reported. The company is hoping to influence suppliers to improve wages and working conditions, setting up democratic labour committees to encourage better social responsibilities.
Additionally, the company also added that a programme will be launched and tested till 2013 to deal with this issue.
Karl-Johan Persson, chief executive of H&M said the company intends to take greater responsibility for Bangladesh's working conditions, Wall Street Journal reported.
"We reward the suppliers who take the great social responsibility with more business, larger orders and longer contract," he said.
The fashion industry makes up 80% of Bangladesh's exports with approximately three million employees, which that figure is expected to double by 2015 and triple in 10 years, according to the source.
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