Discussion questions [Anyone is more than welcome to join our online discussions; For FASH455, please address at least two questions in your comment; please also mention the question number (i.e., #1, or #3; no need to repeat the question) in your comment.]
#1: How to understand apparel is a global sector from the video?
#2: How to understand the economic, social, and political implications of apparel sourcing and trade from the video?
#3: What are the top challenges facing Bangladeshi garment factories during COVID-19? Why or why not do think these challenges will go away soon?
#4: How is the big landscape of apparel sourcing changing because of COVID-19? Any apparel trade or sourcing patterns that COVID-19 didn’t change based on the video?
#5: Anything else you find interesting/intriguing/controversial/thought-provoking from the video? Why?
One thought on “COVID-19 Hits the Bangladeshi Garment Industry”
#2: The result of the pandemic has led to a decline in orders from other countries that Bangladesh had previously exported to. According to the video, nearly five million garment factory workers were affected by the lack of work from factory closures or working long hours without being compensated for overtime in order to keep their jobs. While it still brings in some money, the workers and their families are affected by the lower income as well as the potential exposure to Covid-19 due to the close workspaces. Politically, the video shows how Bangladesh’s garment industry heavily relies on foreign consumption. A few of the people interviewed mentioned how they felt more at ease once international orders started coming through again. Even the former vice president shared his hopes for a return to normalcy for the sake of Bangladesh’s largest industry.
#3: One of the greatest challenges faced by Bangladeshi garment factories during the pandemic is the lack of orders from other countries which leads to less work, layoffs, and factories shutting down. This leaves no opportunities for workers to earn extra income to better support their families and has led to a decline in exports from Bangladesh. I think these challenges will subside if there is more international demand from Bangladesh. There is also a chance that even after the pandemic is over, some factory owners may not be able to re-open their factories due to political reasons affecting the demand for products produced in Bangladesh. It is difficult to say, but with most large corporations wanting to spend as little as possible on manufacturing costs, Bangladesh may not recover without workers having to sacrifice more of their time and labor for less pay.