Foreign buyers paying less for green factory apparel

April 25, 2017 - Bangladesh

International buyers are not paying enough for apparel and garments manufactured in eco-friendly factories in Bangladesh, according to Tofail Ahmed, commerce minister of the country. Investments have been made to make the factories eco-friendly, however, buyers have not increased the prices. On the contrary, they have been cutting prices.

The minister said this during a meeting with the delegation of Germany's Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, which was led by its vice-chairman Michael Sommer.

Factories were turned green after the Rana Plaza collapse in 2013 that claimed the lives of 1,130 people, with a view to improve workplace safety and environment. Multiple steps were taken to ensure workers' safety after this incident.

National Initiative, Accord and Alliance inspected over 3,780 factories and ended up renovating 47 factories and closing 39 of them. The initiative also resulted in 7 factories in the country receiving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certificates from the Green Building Council of the US.

Less than 2 per cent factories in Bangladesh are non-compliant, which is an internationally recognised standard, said Bangladeshi media reports quoting Tofail.

Labour laws of the country were also amended and Workers' Welfare Association were allowed to be formed in export processing zones.

Germany is the second largest market for Bangladesh. (KD)