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22 Aug 2023

Dr. Derya Göçer & Dr. Şerif Onur Bahçecik, Middle East Technical University

Turkey: Brands urged to 'rethink & restructure' relationship with textile suppliers in disasters, as study evaluates brand responses to earthquake

"The impact of brand-supplier relations on producers in the earthquake zone, Turkey 2023", August 2023

...This study analyzes the response of the global apparel brands sourcing from Turkey’s earthquake-affected provinces to the disaster, and its impact on garment and textile producers and workers.

In June 2023, we conducted a survey with textile and garment producers in four major provinces of the earthquake-hit region...The research team called more than 1600 phone numbers and received survey responses from 202 producers.

Our results indicate that textile and garment production in the four provinces were severely affected by the earthquakes. Many producers had to close their facilities temporarily. Despite the scale and destruction of the earthquake, global brands did not postpone delivery dates in many cases and suppliers had to work through aftershocks. The global brands did not effectively communicate with the producers and did not demonstrate commitment to assist with wage continuation. According to the survey, 33% of the producers gave unpaid leave to their workers. No financial support to workers has been reported by the producers. Only 48% of the respondents said that they paid full salaries to their workers after the earthquake. The survey results clearly indicate that brands need to rethink and restructure their relations with their supply chains in disaster conditions.