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Stanley/Stella commits to upholding orders in Bangladesh during COVID-19 crisis

06 April 2020

Info Flash

We have committed to honour all open orders with our five partner factories in Bangladesh during the COVID-19 crisis.
While many in the fashion industry appear to be cancelling orders*, leaving factories and the local garment workers in a very precarious position, at Stanley/Stella we remain fully committed to Bangladesh and its people, as it has since it was founded in 2011.

This is such a difficult time, for the entire world. It’s a wakeup call. For everyone. At Stanley/Stella we’ve been trying to figure out what we can do, what we must do, to help.

And we keep thinking, if things are this bad in the wealthy west, what is going to happen when this hits developing countries? When this hits our beloved Bangladesh. And what can we do to support them from afar?

Our head office is in Brussels, but all our production takes place in our five partner factories in Bangladesh. We have worked with these factories for years, not only to produce our collections, but to fundamentally improve the working conditions for the garment industry by implementing safe working conditions and a fair wage. Our own team of 22 people in Dhaka spend every day in these factories, side by side with hundreds of local garment workers. They are at the heart of our business, we consider them our colleagues, our friends.

But the factories in Bangladesh are closed. Orders are being cancelled by many in the fashion industry, invoices are going unpaid despite the fact that the factories have already purchased fabrics and dyes. And as a result the viability of the factories and the livelihood of the 4 million people working in the garment industry in Bangladesh are at stake.

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), has launched an urgent appeal asking international apparel buyers to come forward to support Bangladesh during this disastrous time, highlighting that the cancellation and non-payment of orders by buyers has impacted over 1,000 factories, costing over $3bn and impacting over 2 million of the country’s garment workers.

At Stanley/Stella we are strongly committed to Bangladesh and its people, we have been since the beginning. We have no intention of leaving, and every intention of supporting them to get back on their feet once this crisis passes. We have not, and will not, cancel any open orders to our partner factories and will continue to work hard to improve working conditions and ensure fair remuneration.

We are proud to be among a number of brands trying to behave responsibly and respectfully during this difficult time. We believe this is the right thing to do, the ethical thing to do.

Be safe. Be responsible. Be united.
Together we will get through this.

Jean Chabert
Managing Director, Stanley/Stella

*https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/apr/02/fashion-brands-cancellations-of-24bn-orders-catastrophic-for-bangladesh; https://www.fashionrevolution.org/the-impact-of-covid-19-on-the-people-who-make-our-clothes/;