According to a recent article from Reuters, Bangladesh, the second largest garment producing country in the world, is planning to map their entire garment supply chain to increase transparency and eliminate defective, unsustainable and unethical supply chain practices.
The information from this mapping will be displayed publicly and will provide “credible, comprehensive and accurate data,” states a leader of the project's management.
So what is the biggest battle to be fought within this supply chain mapping?
Stakeholders see the garment industry of Bangladesh as a cruelly imbalanced hierarchy that places value of workers rights, and living conditions, behind work ethic and profitability. This mapping will increase visibility for buyers, distributors and consumers of Bangladeshi garments, but more importantly create visibility for the lives of millions of garment production workers.
Parveen S. Huda, project head of the supply chain mapping has stated, “The mapping project will fuel Bangladesh’s garment industry advancements, inspire shared responsibility, responsible sourcing, collective action and build upon pre-existing improvement efforts through informed decision-making.”
This kind of initiative will work to weed out the disingenuous actors in the Bangladeshi garment sector.
Demands for responsible action have been piling up after the disaster of Rana Plaza factory, 2013, where an eight story building collapsed, killing more than 1,100 workers. External pressures have brought to light that these kinds of faulty working conditions are unacceptable in 2017, and a change must come from the disasters of the past.
With that being said, the plans for the map are evolutionary rather than revolutionary.
In the midst of a digital transformation of business, this digital mapping comes in good time, but the data compilation and configuration will take time. The project’s leaders hope to have a final version of the map by 2021; this will include all 20 Bangladeshi garment producing district.
Garment production is a industry surmounting to a $28 billion market value, employing over 4 million individuals. The potential impact of this supply chain mapping is massive, and the information’s utilization could alter the sustainable future of Bangladesh as a whole.