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Bangladesh urges retailers to exercise ‘ethical’ buying practices

First National Compliance Carnival 2018, Bangladesh
First National Compliance Carnival 2018, Bangladesh

Bangladesh’s apparel manufacturers and exporters have called upon international retailers and brands worldwide to exercise ethical buying practices while sourcing apparel items from the country.

The call was made at a programme titled ‘First National Compliance Carnival 2018’, aimed to meet compliance issues and challenges in Bangladesh’s garment industry, held at International Convention Centre, Bashundhara (ICCB), Dhaka, on April 20, 2018.

“It is very unfortunate that the retailers and brands, who have fussed about compliance all along, exercise unethical buying practices,” said Md Hatem, first Vice President of Export Association of Bangladesh (EAB).

“While speaking about compliance issues in our factories, different buyers have different demands. They have no unified code of conduct for compliance issues. But when it comes to paying for their products, they don’t want to spend much,” he further underlined.

The apparel makers urged Michael Schultz, an official at German embassy in Dhaka, and Annie Vestjens, the first Secretary at Netherlands embassy, who were present at the programme, to take the word back to brands and retailers in the European Union, to exercise ethical buying practices.

It is important to note that Bangladesh’s labour wages at around US $ 65 per month are the lowest provided to any garment worker in the world. It is one of Bangladesh’s prime selling point that lures buyers with the promise of cheap apparel sourcing.

“It might sound harsh but it is true that the retailers and brands are bloodsuckers,” the former Vice President of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) said.

Among others present at the programme were Hasanul Huq Inu, Bangladesh’s Information Minister, Atiqul Islam, former President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), and Shaila Ashraf, President of Institute of Compliance Professionals.