A garment manufacturing process that produces garments for western brands such as Ralph Lauren, J.
Crew and Gucci has been shut down in the southern city of Dhaka, leaving a factory in the process.
The garment manufacturing facility, located at Bhatta Garment Mills in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka City, is part of the textile milling operation, which was launched in 2005 and employs 1,300 people.
But the factory’s final shutdown, expected to take place by the end of March, has left the workforce unable to continue with production until March 2018.
“We are devastated.
The entire team of 300 is gone.
We have no choice but to close the factory,” said Nadeem, a garment worker who gave his name only as Mohammad.
“We have lost our jobs, our livelihoods and the possibility to continue our work in the textile industry.”
The factory, which manufactures garments for Ralph Lauren and J. Crew, employed a workforce of nearly 200 workers at the time of its establishment.
The company has since closed the factory, and Nadee, a former employee, said he could not afford to stay on.
“This is the third time that this has happened.
We lost so much money that we could not pay our rent, we had no way of buying bread or vegetables,” he said.
The factory had been operating at a loss of approximately $1.5 million ($1.9 million in 2018) in 2019, according to the government.
The closure comes amid an overall decline in textile manufacturing in Bangladesh.
In April, the Bangladesh Cotton and Textile Development Board announced a new set of guidelines that would encourage more domestic production, especially of clothing and accessories.
The board said that more than 90 percent of the country’s total output of apparel and accessories is produced in India.
However, the government has yet to make a final decision on the new regulations.
A recent report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) found that while the garment sector is growing, the manufacturing sector in Bangladesh has been decimated since 2000.
In a report released in April, ILO said the textile manufacturing sector had shrunk from a production capacity of 1.3 million to 1.2 million employees.
“The overall textile production capacity in Bangladesh fell from 1.35 million to just 1.27 million employees, while the textile production workforce dropped from 1,200 to 1,150 workers,” the report said.
“The country has become a manufacturing powerhouse for multinational corporations, but it has not been able to compete with the manufacturing powerhouses in India, where the market for manufactured clothing and textile products is expanding.
In the next five years, Bangladesh will have to invest at least $200 billion to create the capacity to produce garments in the Indian market.”
According to the ILO, in 2015, Bangladesh imported about 6.6 million garments, while it imported 2.4 million textile products.