Swedish fashion retailer H&M pauses placing new orders in Myanmar

The Swedish fashion giant H&M has paused placing orders in Myanmar due to the shocking use of deadly force against protesters in the country, Reuters reports.

The fashion retailer has sourced Myanmar for seven years and has around 45 suppliers in the country.

In an email to Reuters, Serkan Tanka, Country Manager Myanmar, said that H&M at this point has paused placing new orders with their suppliers in Myanmar, although the company refrains from taking any immediate action regarding their long-term presence in the country.

“We have at this point paused placing new orders with our suppliers. This is due to practical difficulties and an unpredictable situation limiting our ability to operate in the country, including challenges related to manufacturing and infrastructure, raw material imports, and transport of finished goods,” Serkan Tanka writes.

The United Nations stated last week that Myanmar Police and military have killed more than 50 people to quell daily demonstrations and strikes against the 1 February military coup. The latest demonstration on Monday in Yangon saw two protesters killed by gunshot wounds to the head.

Serkan Tanka stated that H&M was extremely concerned about the situation in the country and that it was in dialogue with UN agencies, diplomatic representatives, human rights experts, trade unions, and other multinational companies.
“These consultations will guide us in any future decision concerning how we as a company can best contribute to positive developments following the will of the people in Myanmar,” he said.

According to the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association, Myanmar’s 600 garment factories provided around 450.000 jobs in 2020.

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