Bangladesh clothing manufacturers are facing tough times demanding fair price for clothing supplied by them. Additionally, they are in tremendous pressure from global buyers to improve conditions at workplace, after the Rana Plaza building collapse in 2013. Local apparel makers say, over $1 billion has been invested so far to renovate and retrofit their factories as per the demand of Western buyers, retailers and brands. Yet, retailers and brands have not increased the price. Buyers are still paying the traditional low prices for products and earning huge profits. A shirt costing $3 or $5 is being sold between $25 and $30.
The same is the case with high-end value added products, which is 30 per cent of the total volume of garment items exported per annum from Bangladesh. MNCs pay between $8 and $12 to local manufacturers for purchasing a piece of value added high-end shirt and retailers sell the same shirts at $100 sometimes even at $150, garment makers said. According to manufacturers and economists, the faulty global supply chain is to be blamed. Economist RehmanSobhan, highlighting this very point says the current business model forces suppliers to squeeze their workers as much as they can because they have to produce the shirt at $5. There needs to be investigation into this matter to resolve issues faced by manufacturers.