Decent Work in Garment Supply Chains Asia

Opportunities for a Just Transition to environmental sustainability and COVID-19 recovery in the textile and garment sector in Asia

A Just Transition for the garment industry in Asia is critical as the sector seeks to recover from the impacts of COVID-19. This report examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the textile and garment sector, specifically the employment and enterprise impacts, and contextualizes these within the wider development impacts of the sector – social, economic and environmental; both positive and negative – to ask the question: how sustainable is the sector?

This recovery comes also in a critical decade of action for achieving the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, both of which will also alter the future of work in the sector. The pandemic has highlighted that vulnerability is not equally shared across the supply chain, so too for carbon emissions, with emissions concentrating in specific production activities, and these activities geographically concentrated in certain hot-spots – areas that are both highly reliant on the textile and garment sector, but also highly vulnerable to supply chain disruptions and impacts on the sector.

This creates a strong spatial dimension to the need for planning for a Just Transition in the industry; hot spots in local areas can be turned into opportunities for accelerated community action to “build back better”.