For years, C&A and other large clothing companies contributed to the erosion of the garment industry in Bangladesh. When trade suddenly came to a standstill as a result of Covid-19 and companies were forced to cancel orders, it immediately became clear what this continuous demand for cheap and fast production had led to.
At first glance, the sudden cancellation of the orders leaving the workers out in the cold might seem to be the scandal here – a big corporation abandoning the people who make their products, despite beautiful words in mission statements about “taking care” of people and the planet.
But the cancellation itself actually isn’t the scandal. The real scandal is that the gradual erosion of the clothing industry that lies behind it has been decades in the making and has now come to bear more vividly than ever before.