Since Europe went into lockdown, high street retailers cancelled $2 billion worth of orders, putting some one million factory workers in Bangladesh out of work
Fashion is considered the second most polluting industry in the world. The coronavirus pandemic has exposed just how unsustainable production chains shipping billions of cheaply made garments from Asia to the West really are.
Since Europe went into lockdown, high street retailers cancelled $2 billion worth of orders, putting some one million factory workers in Bangladesh out of work.
“If coronavirus doesn’t kill my workers, then starvation will,” says one factory owner, reports Glamour.
Muhymin Chowdhury, head of challenge fund & fundraising at not for profit health organization Sajida, said: “Cancelled orders have affected over 1000 factories. A recent study found that 47% of these workers now have no income.”
The cancelled orders consist of 982 million pieces of clothing, already made but now headed for disposal.
To mitigate this colossal waste, multi-retailer app MallZee has come up with a fashion clothing box, Lost Stock, that includes pieces from those cancelled orders – originally destined for stores including Topshop and Gap – for sale at £35, with up to £70 worth of product inside.
Each box will support a garment worker and their family in Bangladesh, providing food and hygiene requirements for a week.
In partnership with the Sajida Foundation, Lost Stock is giving their profits straight to those worst affected by the pandemic. Their goal is to help 5000 families in May and 100,000 by the end of 2020.
“With no safety net available for some of the poorest workers in the fashion supply chain we couldn’t sit back and do nothing – leaving families to starve and new clothing heading to landfill. Covid-19 is a health and economic crisis in the UK but it’s going to be a humanitarian crisis in countries like Bangladesh unless support is provided. With the Lost Stock approach consumers get a great deal and are also helping at the same time,” said Mallzee CEO Cally Russell.