As per a recent survey of Amsterdam-based organisation Fair Wear Foundation that works to improve labour conditions in garment factories, around 39 per cent of the garment manufacturers are selling garment items to buyers at prices lower than the production costs.
The survey report has shaken up the garment sector, which is reeling under falling profit margins. To add to the problems, brands have also allegedly opposed the idea of fixing a base price for garment items recently.
“The data mentioned in the report not only reflects the desperate move by the factories to retain their customers, but also their struggle to avoid any situation leading to insolvency since there is no legal route to safely exit from their investments,” maintained BGMEA President Dr. Rubana Huq while highlighting that the cost of production of apparel items has increased 30 per cent between 2014 and 2018, while the minimum wage of the garment workers has increased 51 per cent since December last year.
Against this backdrop, the garment makers of Bangladesh have now decided to hold rallies and human chains in major European cities to create awareness among the end consumers so as to garner better prices.
“In many cases, the suppliers might lose the profit, but in the long run they may make profit,” observed Executive Director of the Policy Research Institute Ahsan H. Mansur, who supported the initiative of holding awareness programmes on the proposal to fix a base price.