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Apparel bodies join hands to better purchasing practices

Jan '21
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
Apparel and textiles manufacturers of six Asian countries, including Bangladesh, recently took an initiative to better global buyers’ purchasing practices. Representatives of STAR Network, the first inter-Asian platform of producer associations of the textiles and garment industry made the move on January 12. The platform was formed in 2016.

The nine member associations in six countries are the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the China National Textile and Apparel Council, the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association, the Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the Pakistan Textile Exporters Association, the Towel Manufacturers Association of Pakistan and the Vietnam Textile and Garment Association.

The STAR Network said its initiative was a result of an increased imbalance in power between the buyers and the manufacturers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Bangladeshi media reports.

It said that this imbalance had increased and made more visible during the COVID-19 pandemic, in which order cancellations, especially from European and US brands and buyers, left many Asian producers with their backs against the wall.

“We want to come together as associations and manufacturers in Asia, to agree on common positions regarding payment and delivery terms so that we have a stronger voice in individual and in collective discussions with brands and buyers on improving purchasing practices,” the platform’s spokesperson, Miran Ali, said in a press release.

The situation had been difficult before, Ali said, but COVID-19 changed everything.

The platform hoped that the common position would be powerful as the countries represent over 60 per cent of all global apparel exports by manufacturers.

According to the announcement, until March 2021, the platform would work in five working groups—defining the ‘red lines’, requests and recommendations on topics such as payment and delivery practices, planning and information exchange and third-party negotiations. Based on the output of the working groups, the second phase of the initiative would drive the roll-out in the industry.

It said that many industry organisations and networks had already pledged support to the initiative and they would be involved as experts, supporting the working groups or as part of an industry advisory board. The platform was established with the support of the German Development Cooperation Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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February 2021

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