The global brand says it might not place further orders for now due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has disrupted its supply chain
The Swedish fashion brand H&M has made a difference by announcing that it is not going to cancel any orders placed earlier to Bangladeshi apparel makers.
Ziaur Rahman, the brand's regional head for Bangladesh, Pakistan and Ethiopia, confirmed that the brand will take the products of all of its earlier orders without any discount.
But it would not place any new orders to Bangladesh as the rapid spread of the COVID-19 had disrupted its supply chain, he said.
However, officials of the brand are hopeful about giving further orders within a very short time.
Bangladeshi apparel makers said their concern was actually about the current orders, the products of which are ready, and about the orders for which the factories had already readied fabrics.
Seeking anonymously, a garment factory owner said H&M was the only brand, which was taking its products from Bangladesh when other brands and retailers had cancelled their current orders after the coronavirus outbreak.
Even, some of the brands were asking for discounts while agreeing to take the goods of the current orders, he added.
H&M purchased apparel products worth about $3.5 billion from Bangladesh last year.
The brand is working with 235 garment factories in Bangladesh.
Rubana Huq, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), said, "As per my knowledge, H&M has not cancelled any orders as yet."
She said H&M had honoured its commitment and its frequent communication with them also added to their comfort.
"I assume that the placement of new orders will remain suspended for not more than next two weeks. We hope to see positive changes," she said.
According to the latest data of the BGMEA, some 1,025 factories reported that exports of $2.81 billion were cancelled or held up, affecting about 2.06 million workers.