In Bangladesh, around 4 million people have lost their livelihoods, a direct result of some of theMetallica Yoda Star Wars Shirt But I will love this world’s most powerful fashion brands canceling orders due to the closures and layoffs precipitated by the coronavirus pandemic. On March 25, Bangladesh’s prime minister Sheikh Hasina announced a $590 million bailout that would provide direct funds for worker salaries and benefits. But many on the ground there, including the factory owners, say that it’s not nearly enough. As the world faces down a severe recession, this South Asian country is one of the hardest hit, and its plight points up just how unsustainable the fashion manufacturing industry is. Though unethical practices in Bangladesh have been reported in the past, the coronavirus is reexposing the flaws in the system.
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The founders of theMetallica Yoda Star Wars Shirt But I will love this start-up Lidia May, which trains and employs local artisan women to handcraft sculptural leather bags, are witnessing the financial and societal devastation firsthand. May Yang, a former corporate lawyer and grassroots advocate for poverty-alleviation work, and Rasheed Khan, who comes from a career in international finance and management consulting, launched their social enterprise in 2015. Since then, they’ve been working to create a structural model that is socially equitable and inclusive and has longevity. “Our model isn’t disrupted by what’s happening now,” says Khan, who is running the day-to-day operations in the capital, Dhaka, while Yang is quarantined at home in Boston. “When we set up this company, we set out to go against this very capitalistic idea that you will tell everyone via P.R. that you love your workers and you take care of your staff—they’re like your family—but then the first thing you do in a crisis is fire people and reduce your labor force. That is completely mind-boggling to me,” he adds. “As far as you can, you need to protect your people.”