More about the textile industry in Bangladesh
Bangladesh has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. As well as the health concerns, a large majority of people in Bangladesh work in the garment and textile industry, which has faced unprecedented cancellations of stock and closures of factories.
Without a strong social security network, many factory workers and their families are facing very difficult times ahead. That is why Lost Stock set out to help workers in the Bangladeshi garment industry, and why buying one of our fashion boxes helps support a family in Bangladesh for one week.
The textile industry in Bangladesh
The textile industry and ready made garment (RMG) business is the primary industry in the country. Only China produce more apparel in the world market, and with a massive textile export industry (80% of Bangladesh's exports), the current Coronavirus crisis has impacted Bangladesh in many ways. When high street retailers and international brands cancelled stock that was completed, ready for shipping or mid-production, many factories found themselves unable to pay their workers.
Bangladesh is a poor country, with limited social security for the nearly 165 million people, who live in densely populated regions. Textile order cancellations have therefore had a devastating impact on the people of Bangladesh, many who are now depending on charitable organisations such as the SAJIDA foundation for food and hygiene products, as well as financial support and assistance.
Coronavirus in Bangladesh
Nearly 165 million people live in Bangladesh, and it is estimated that over 4 million of them work in the textile industry. More than 5,000 textile factories producing garments and fashion items for well-known brands in the UK, Europe and the US, employ primarily women to produce a lot of the items we wear on a daily basis here in the UK.
With the COVID-19 pandemic spreading to Bangladesh, many garment factories continued to operate even during the lockdown, because it is such a crucial industry for the country's export budget. Unfortunately, as orders were cancelled, reduced or stopped coming in, an estimated one million workers in the garment industry have been laid off in the last couple of months. This accounts for a quarter of the textile industry workforce, and causes families economic despair as well as the distress of trying to protect themselves from the highly infectious coronavirus.
Social distancing and self-quarantine is highly problematic in Bangladesh, one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Bangladesh has the 8th largest population of any country, but only ranks 92nd for land mass. In the capital Dhaka, with over 21 million inhabitants, people live in close quarters and trying to shield individuals is a very difficult task indeed.
How can we help?
Organisations such as SAJIDA Foundation have been at the forefront to help impacted workers in the textile industry, their families and the local communities since the start of Coronavirus. One of the organisation's first private healthcare institutions in the country has been turned into an isolation and treatment centre for COVID-19 patients.
SAJIDA Foundation is a non-government organisation dealing with health, microfinance and social development services. Their water, sanitation and hygiene programme has been actively involved in installing hand washing facilities in high-risk zones while distributing essential hygiene material such as soaps and sanitizers for the most vulnerable.
Support factory workers in Bangladesh
With the help of funds from Lost Stock and other supporters, SAJIDA foundation has been reaching out with food and hygiene packages containing a week’s supply of daily groceries to support ultra-poor families in its working areas.
With your support, we can continue to help those who need it most. Buy a Lost Stock box today and contribute to Bangladesh in the current crisis.
Image credit: SAJIDA Foundation