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February 12, 2013

by HoosOnBrand

Global Supply Chain Musings

An article in Bloombergbusinessweek (February 7,2013) suggests that the fast (even two week) fashion cycles at Zara, Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) create stress on suppliers in Bangladesh who need to respond rapidly or lose the business. The corresponding stress shifts to employees and, the article alleges, creates conditions that compromise safety – leading to deaths due to fires. The article claims that a 10 cent extra cost per garment can improve safety if spent on fire prevention and worker protection efforts. But will such a price increase offered to manufacturers be spent appropriately on safety ? Have retailers gone too far in their focus on matching trends and should the safety consequences be rejected by consumers ? How can consumers be educated about the tradeoff ? Should regulators at retail locations demand that retailers accept global responsibility for the consequences of their “fast fashion” supply chain choices ?

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