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Major fashion brands refused to pay for $16bn of goods during COVID-19, leaving overseas suppliers unable to pay garment workers

"World’s garment workers face ruin as fashion brands refuse to pay $16bn", 8 October 2020

Powerful US and European fashion companies have refused to pay overseas suppliers for more than $16bn (£12.3bn) of goods since the outbreak of Covid-19, with devastating implications for garment workers across the world, according to analysis of newly released import data.

...TheCenter for Global Workers’ Rights (CGWR) and the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), used previously unpublished import databases to calculate that garment factories and suppliers from across the world lost at least $16.2bn in revenue between April and June... as brands cancelled orders or refused to pay for clothing orders they had placed before the coronavirus outbreak.

This has left suppliers in countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia and Myanmar with little choice but to slim down their operations or close altogether, leaving millions of workers facing reduced hours and unemployment...

Despite leaving suppliers and workers facing ruin, some retailers have paid out millions in dividends to shareholders. In March, Kohl’s... paid out $109m in dividends just weeks after cancelling large orders...

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