IndustriAll has called out the Swedish fashion group for continuing to source from Myanmar despite the country’s humanitarian crisis brought on by the military coup.
IndustriAll said that H&M’s responsible business practices have created a constructive relationship with the union. Despite this, the Swedish fashion group “refuses to stop sourcing from Myanmar.”
“Myanmar is a military dictatorship with no freedom of association. The Myanmar Ministry of Information reports that garment exports were worth US$4.7 billion last year. The military regime needs foreign exchange to buy weapons and ammunition to conduct a civil war against the population. By sourcing from Myanmar, H&M maintains a flow of foreign exchange into the country, helping to sustain the regime,” IndustriAll said.
H&M responded to the claims made by IndustriAll representatives at its AGM last week. The company stated that it has a strong local team and is working with the EU MADE program. A program that has been condemned by Myanmar unions as a whitewash.
IndustriAll said in a press release, that they since November last year, have been consulting garment brands on how to responsibly exit Myanmar.
“We have been guided by the the union movement of Myanmar, to call on companies to cease their operations. We call on all companies doing business in Myanmar – not just the garment industry – to plan their exit from the country,” Atle Høie, general secretary of IndustriAll added.
Last month, a number of brands shut down their operations in the country or announced their intention to terminate production.