After facing a backlash on social media for not paying dues several retailers have announced that they will be making payments to suppliers as quicks as possible. Amongst them is Gap and Levi’s who agreed to compensate garment suppliers for orders they recently cancelled.
Retailers tried offsetting losses from store closures by canceling upcoming shipments and backing out of payment contracts. Without anticipated payments, thousands of garment workers in developing countries were left wageless.
So in March, the nonprofit Remake launched the #PayUp campaign to demand retailers meet their supply chain obligations. After amassing 200,000+ signatures on its petition 19 retailers committed to making payments for canceled orders in full, including Gap and Levi’s. COVID-19 has reignited interest in retailers’ supply chain practices, and now customers are demanding extra accountability—even as apparel retailers are struggling in a big way.
Following months of back-and-forth with labor advocates, Danish-headquartered retailer Bestseller, owner of the Jack & Jones, Mamalicious and Vero Moda brands, said it is “immediately releasing” payments on current orders, as well as implementing early payments until October in a bid to “ensure suppliers’ cash flows.
While we have extended payment terms on certain orders, in the immediate term we are providing low cost financing to our vendor partners, and are working with our banking partners to increase the amount of funds available within the program as we move forward,” Gap wrote in a statement.
The statement follows one made by the company in June that said it was in “close communications” with vendor and that it would meeting with each one individually to evaluate orders, operating restrictions and the health and wellness of their workers.
At the time, Gap Inc. reported it cancelled fewer than 3 percent of purchase orders by value for finished garments and garments in production, and was working with vendors to utilize uncut raw materials for future seasons.