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H&M to raise apparel sourcing from Bangladesh
31
May '12
Sweden-based Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), the world's second-largest clothing retailer, is looking at increasing its sourcing from Bangladesh, Dow Jones Newswires said quoting H&M Head Helena Helmersson.

The H&M Head said they have already informed the Bangladesh Government, other stakeholders and clothing producers regarding their growth plans in Bangladesh.

However, as they intend to grow in Bangladesh, the ongoing labour unrest in the country is restraining suppliers from planning production, as strikes and protests often hamper production and cause delays, she added.

She said that a stable market would prove to be greatly beneficial for the company as well as its suppliers and workers.

The firm intends to utilize its power to build pressure on its suppliers in Bangladesh to improve work conditions, and push for constitution of democratic labour committees that can negotiate with factory workers on wages and working conditions.

The company also intends to launch a trial programme in this regard for the current and next year, the news agency stated.

Bangladesh has now emerged as a reliable readymade garment sourcing destination for leading global retailers, due to its competitive prices.

A recent study undertaken by McKinsey, a leading research company in US, states that Bangladesh's apparel exports are expected to grow almost two-fold by 2015 and three-fold over the next 10 years. This is because leading buyers from China are shifting to Bangladesh as capacity constraints and rising labour costs in China are eroding their profit margins.

Operating a network of more than 2,500 retail outlets in 44 markets across the world, with a staff of 94,000 people, H&M is a leading buyer of garments from Bangladesh.

H&M currently sources around 25 percent of its products from Bangladesh and it intends to raise this volume in future.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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