In a recent segment, BBC News interviewed Sonia, a garment worker in Bangladesh who’s lost her job during Covid-19 pandemic. PayUpFashion coalition member and Remake Founder Ayesha Barenblat was also interviewed about the #PayUp campaign, describing how order cancellations are leading directly to workers losing their jobs.
“We launched the #PayUp campaign to demand that brands honor their contracts,” Barenblat said.
As the segment points out, Bangladesh is the world’s second largest exporter of clothes. The industry employs more than four million workers, and most of them are women. At the start of the pandemic, many brands cancelled their existing orders, leaving people like Sonia, who is interviewed in the segment, unpaid for work they’d already done. Clothing sales also plummeted, meaning that brands are looking to get rid of existing stock, rather than place new orders.
Sonia describes the hardship of losing her job and waiting for wages to be paid. She has borrowed money to stay afloat, and her husband’s income is not enough to provide for both of them. “I don’t have money to pay for my rent and food,” she adds.
View the full segment here.