Inditex, the parent company of Zara, Zara Home, Pull & Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius and Oysho, will no longer source clothes from Myanmar, an Inditex spokesperson has said. The fashion giant is halting purchases as a result of a campaign by global labour union IndustriALL to persuade companies not to invest in the country (anymore).
"Inditex is undertaking a phased and responsible withdrawal from Myanmar, following IndustriALL's call," an Inditex spokesperson stated, according to Reuters, which had initially reported on the news. "As a result, we will reduce the number of active manufacturers in the country."
When exactly the fashion giant will leave the country, Inditex cannot yet say. The company does not publish a list of suppliers, so it is not clear how many factories in Myanmar supply Inditex, noted Reuters.
After a military coup in Myanmar on 1 February 2021, a state of emergency was declared in the Southeast Asian country. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets every day at the time to demand the release of government leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The demonstrations were met by the military junta with tear gas, rubber bullets and live-fire.
Myanmar is a popular sourcing location for the textile and garment industry. At the time, it was therefore difficult to assess what the fashion industry should do. Major brands such as H&M, Bestseller, Benetton and Primark announced in March 2021 that they would withdraw for the time being and stop placing new orders. Orders from some fashion brands resumed in June 2021.
This article originally appeared on FashionUnited.NL. Translation and edit by: Rachel Douglass.