full report: "Beyond the Tip of the Iceberg: Bangladesh’s Forgotten Apparel Workers"
...In a June 2015 survey of two sub-districts of Dhaka, 32% of the 479 factories surveyed were informal subcontractors. 91% of informal factories produced at least partly for export. Informal factories are a subset of indirect suppliers. They do not register with the government, either of the two national trade associations of apparel manufacturers, or foreign brands.
Workers in this part of the sector are especially vulnerable because they are invisible to regulators and their employers operate on such slim margins that they cannot invest
in even basic safety equipment or procedures. This kind of subcontracting also artificially depresses prices because it does not account for the full cost of producing in accordance with minimum labor standards...