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Dilemma of Bangladesh’s apparel industry


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Brands like H&M and Primark have triggered the creation of a mass market for fashion. To provide such mass volumes at ‘unbelievable’ costs, you need countries with mass labour willing to work at exceptionally low wages (lifestyles). Countries like Bangladesh have provided millions with employment, thanks to this industry. If you increase the consumer prices (in these times of austerity), volumes will drop. If Bangladesh increases its export prices, the big brands will not accept lower margins. 

If these brands pull out of Bangladesh, millions will go starving. In such a low-margin game, not much can be done with the main cost elements i.e. wages, fabric, energy and machinery. A check on producing companies making abnormal profits at the expense of compliance and safety may bring some relief, but fundamentally there has to be a game-changer!


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