H&M keeps outsourcing to Myanmar despite other big brands’ departure

Major fashion retailers like Marks & Spencer and Primark are ceasing their outsourced production in Myanmar. This is due to issues with labor and human rights as well as logistical challenges. Still, Fashion retailers such as H&M and Inditex continue to source from Myanmar.

Most foreign businesses left Myanmar after the military took over in February 2021. The dictatorship is accused of widespread human rights violations and has put down protests against its takeover.

Fashion companies were among those companies who kept their business in the country by continuing to outsource production to small factories in the region. Yet, some of these businesses are now departing the nation as a result of their failure to alter the local system’s low pay and severance benefits.

Marks & Spencer stated last year that, they would leave by the end of March because the company “does not tolerate any human rights abuses inside any section of our supply chain.”

“Given the deteriorating circumstances, we believe our only alternative is to start working towards a prudent exit from the nation.” Primark, the Irish fast fashion brand,  recently announced.

Since 2019, the minimum pay for factory employees has remained at 4,800 kyat (approximately US $1.68). Trade unionists cannot securely negotiate with employers, according to a report by the U.K.’s Ethical Trading Initiative.

Some businesses aim to remain in Myanmar in the effort to enhance working conditions. The European Union and EuroCham Myanmar, has established a network supporting suitable employment levels. The network is meant to serve as a platform for monitoring working conditions in the country.

Source: apparelresources.com

About Miabell Mallikka

Miabell Mallikka is a journalist working with ScandAsia at the headquarters in Bangkok.

View all posts by Miabell Mallikka

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