More than 100 sub-contracting apparel factories in Bangladesh, mostly non-compliant ones, have closed and many others are on the verge of closure for want of sufficient work. The sub-contracting factories have long been facing dearth of work as big garment makers, who take work orders directly, are either turning away from the third parties or are opting for the compliant ones in the face of strict monitoring of safety measures by the buyers.
Lower volume of manufacturing work of their mother companies has also played a role. The sub-contracting factories are said to engage child labor in production. Fire safety measures and exit facilities are hardly found. They don’t make payments on time. And after some incidents involving fire and building collapses, buyers have become cautious about working with such factories.
The sub-contracting firms number 1,500 to 2,000 and are mostly located at rented and unhygienic houses in industrial zones of Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association is helping sub-contracting factories upgrade themselves and become compliant. Some such units have been trying to upgrade their factories to compliant ones but have failed to obtain certifications from the concerned authorities as they have to fulfill a number of criteria.