Asian dialogues on sustainability

Business Resilience: How can garment factories bounce back from COVID-19?

COVID-19 has disrupted supply chains globally, resulting in reduced orders and incomes, factory closures and job losses. The implications for developing countries are enormous, potentially leading to strikes and social unrest. This webinar sheds light on the pandemic’s impact on the textile and garment industry in Asia.

Part of the Asian Dialogues on Sustainability series for the garment sector, this webinar, which is jointly organized by GIZ FABRIC and ILO’s Decent Work in Garment Supply Chains Asia programme, will examine business resilience amidst the crisis, and what it takes for manufacturers, small and large, to survive now and thrive in the future.

Three experts will share insights on what makes factories more resilient, speak about what measures they have taken to respond to COVID-19, and discuss possible steps to address the impacts the industry now faces, including partnerships, production, management systems, financing, and how to reopen factories while prioritizing worker safety.

This webinar is for all industry stakeholders and observers, particularly producers – from small and independent export factories to diversified manufacturing groups – and their respective business membership and sectoral associations.


Dr. Raymond Robertson, Director, Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy, Texas A&M University Dr. Raymond Robertson is Professor and holder of the Helen and Roy Ryu Chair in Economics and Government in the Department of International Affairs at the Bush School of Government and Public Service and the Director of the Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy in Texas. He widely published in the field of labor economics and international economics including a discussion paper using data from the ILO’s Better Work programme, examining social compliance and determinants of factory resilience. He is a research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn, Germany.

Ms. Nicole Chu, Director Corporate Compliance, Sabrina Fashion Industrial Corporation As Director for Corporate Compliance at Sabrina, a Taiwan based apparel-manufacturing group with factories in China, Cambodia and Vietnam, Nicole believes that Sabrina’s philosophy, which blends a worker first ethic with strategic buyer engagement is key to delivering both productivity and long-term sustainability. With factories acknowledged for their high social standards, Sabrina’s approach sees production supervisors and union representatives working together in a social dialogue model. Nicole also oversees nutrition, health, and hygiene programs for workers and children in rural Cambodia.”

Ms. Kim van der Weerd, Writer, Podcaster & former garment factory general manager Kim van der Weerd is an advocate of equal partnership in the fashion supply chain. She spent five years managing factories in Cambodia, first as COO of Tonlé, a zero-waste manufacturing brand, and later as General Manager of Pactics, a company producing primarily for the luxury eyewear industry. She is now co-host of “Manufactured”, a new podcast about sustainability and the making of fashion, which will be launched in June. Kim regularly publishes about her experiences managing a garment factory and advocates for more manufacturer perspectives on sustainability.