IDH is supporting the apparel sector to alleviate the impact on factory workers and people dependent on the apparel industry, who have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
We do this through boosting the productivity of PPE factories and supporting apparel factories to switch from regular production to producing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). But also, through connecting PPE suppliers, buyers and export markets.Read more about our PPE work here
Continue reading to find out how else we support the apparel sector with disseminating actions of immediately responding to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Together with VITAS (Vietnam Textile & Apparel Association) we are specifically raising awareness and promoting fabric mask production in Vietnam. Through webinars and communication packages we are supporting factories with the production of medical face masks and protection equipment, and how they can better and successful connect with export markets in the US and Europe.
We are also developing an online manual to guide businesses on Occupational Health Safety for workers in response to ensure safety and avoid infection of COVID-19 virus in the production/ business operation.
Beyond driving change in the industry to increase production of PPE, IDH is providing means for workers to communicate through an app called Atun. And we helped start a campaign about social protection for workers in Vietnam, so those apparel workers with temporary suspension of labour contracts or having leave without pay can find out about social protection and insurance schemes.
The Atun app disseminates information to workers regarding COVID-19 health updates, upcoming job opportunities and factory re-openings, government and private welfare efforts, as well as access to re-skilling trainings and other services. The app is live in Vietnam and Indonesia.
With MOLISA (the Ministry of Labour in Vietnam) and VITAS we developed several flyers to help guide workers to welfare and social protection. The flyers provide information about policies, level of support possible, and about the process. To reach those people that are hard to reach, the information is distributed through local networks, unions, national media and is also added in the Atun app.
As in Vietnam, through our public-private platforms in Ethiopia and Pakistan, which are made up of local public partners, global buyers, international organizations and CSOs – we are also helping coordinate mitigation actions for the effects of the Covid-19 crisis in these geographies.
In India, Pakistan and Vietnam, IDH is also offering support to factories with safety assessments before they are starting up again. Here we look for example at hygiene and the required social distancing norms.
Ensuring that factory workers can work safely according to government-mandated social distancing guidelines can be difficult in a sector in which safe conditions were already a challenge for workers before the crisis began. Therefore, it is important to assess if a factory can re-open whilst providing their workers with safe working conditions.