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Fashion supply may face shortfall from extreme weather: report

Several manufacturers may face a 22% shortfall, missing out on US$65 billion in export earnings.

Apparel and fashion manufacturers from climate-vulnerable countries may face a 22% shortfall, by an estimated US$65b, in export earnings by 2030.

According to a joint report by Cornell University’s Global Labor Institute and British-based Schroders asset management firm, extreme heat and flooding are the top adverse risks for apparel production hubs.

Four major countries in apparel manufacturing – Bangladesh, Cambodia, Pakistan and Vietnam – are at risk of losing US$65b in export earnings and nearly 1 million jobs. The countries – representing 18% of global apparel exports – have approximately 10,000 apparel and footwear factories and over 10.6 million workers in the industry.

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Additionally, approximately 32 production hubs are found prone to heat and flooding, with some found in Southeast Asia locations like Yangon and Bangkok. Several centres expand their surplus to footwear, fashion brands and retailers.

All scenarios may lead to disruption in production, as well as affect workers’ productivity and health. As extreme weather continues to affect the public, exposure to flood-prone and heat-prone areas will deter the workforce.

The report importantly suggests stringent measures and studies, financial strategies and urgent investments to address extreme heat and flooding in the fashion industry. Cooperation with local government and major companies is also important to make adaptation and creation of safe practices possible.

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