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These Retailers Are Suspending or Pausing Orders From Myanmar Amid Rising Violence

A number of retailers have announced that they would suspend or pause orders from Myanmar amid a military coup that has put the issue of human rights in the spotlight.

Since armed forces seized power early last month, mass protests have swept the Southeast Asian country and hundreds of people have been detained, including elected leaders Aung San Suu Kyi and members of the National League for Democracy party. According to the United Nations, at least 80 people have been killed in demonstrations in recent weeks as the military declared a national state of emergency.

In response, Benetton and H&M are among the fashion companies that have had to reevaluate their sourcing ties with Myanmar, which is viewed as a “very small” but “fast-growing” supplier of shoes and clothing to the United States, American Apparel and Footwear Association SVP of policy Nate Herman previously told FN. (The country represents 0.4% of total shoe imports to the U.S. but had a “significant” double-digit increase in 2020, per AAFA.)

Here, FN compiles a list of the growing number of retailers that are halting orders with Myanmar’s suppliers.

Benetton

On Friday, Benetton Group S.r.l. announced that it had immediately stopped all new orders from Myanmar. About 2% of its suppliers are located in the country.

“We express our most profound concern for what is happening in Myanmar,” the Italy-based brand said in a statement. “The situation presents such problems, both in terms of security and of freedom and rights violations, that we have decided to suspend all new orders.”

H&M

Hennes & Mauritz AB has ceased placing orders in Myanmar. According to its website, it has about 45 direct suppliers in Myanmar and has sourced in the country for seven years.

In an email to Reuters published last week, country manager Serkan Tanka wrote, “This is due to practical difficulties and an unpredictable situation limiting our ability to operate in the country, including challenges related to manufacturing and infrastructure, raw material imports and transport of finished goods.”

This story will continue to be updated.

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