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WAKEFIELD - Leading figures from across the industry join our host Mike Schragger, from the Sustainable Fashion Academy, to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on supply chain workers in our latest Big Closets Small Planet podcast.

As millions of low-wage garment workers face potential catastrophe, we talk to a number of experts and union representatives to better understand what is happening on the ground.

Mark Anner, associate professor at Penn State University; Anne-Laure Henry-Greard from the ILO's BetterWork Program; Jenny Holdcroft, Assistant General Secretary at the IndustriALL Global Union; Towhidur Rahman, President of the Bangladesh Apparel Workers Federation; and Amina Razvi, Executive Director of Sustainable Apparel Coalition, give us the benefit of their expertise.

They discuss a number of critical issues including the responsibility of buyers for ensuring workers get paid, what this crisis reveals about the apparel supply chain, and if Bangladesh will ever be the same again.

To hear what they have to say, listen to the full podcast by CLICKING HERE.

Henry-Greard said: "It's a very difficult time for everybody in the supply chain. The cancellation of export orders by the major global fashion brands is having a very significant impact on the workers in Bangladesh. This COVID crisis has made those workers particularly vulnerable."

Speaking from Bangladesh, Rahman commented: "The current situation is unprecedented in modern history. More than 4,000 garment factories are shut down and 4.5 million workers are now idle, staying at home."

Anner explained how he carried out a survey into the number of brands cancelling or postponing orders in Bangladesh after becoming concerned about the plight of supply chain workers.

"I've been following the industry for a very long time," he said. "I became very concerned when I started reading about the impact of COVID-19 on the industry in Asia and beyond."

Razvi added: "I think this crisis has really put a spotlight on some of the darker aspects of the apparel industry, For me personally, it's been pretty heartbreaking to watch."

Holdcroft commented: "The rapidity of the impact shows the fragility of the industry and the supply chain model it uses. The impacts on the factories are felt so immediately and there's absolutely no cushion."

To hear more insight from our expert guests, listen to the full podcast by CLICKING HERE.

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