H&M has announced plans to gradually stop sourcing from suppliers in Myanmar due to reports of labor abuse in the country’s garment factories.
This decision follows similar actions taken by other fashion retailers such as Zara-owner Inditex, Primark, and M&S.
“After careful consideration, we have now taken the decision to gradually phase out our operations in Myanmar,” H&M told Reuters on Thursday.
H&M explained, “We have been monitoring the latest developments in Myanmar very closely and we see increased challenges to conduct our operations according to our standards and requirements.”
This move comes after H&M announced an investigation into 20 alleged labor abuse cases at its garment factories in Myanmar, following pressure from advocacy groups concerned about the treatment of factory workers.
According to a UK-based human rights advocacy group, there have been up to 156 recorded cases of alleged worker abuses in Myanmar’s garment factories from February 2022 to 2023, a significant increase from the 56 cases tracked in the previous year.
H&M stated that its withdrawal from Myanmar will follow a “responsible exit framework” created by global union IndustriALL, which has been urging brands to cease business activities in the country.
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