Inditex, parent company of fast fashion giant Zara, is exiting Myanmar, the company said in an emailed statement to Fashion Dive.
The company has begun the “phased and responsible” process of exiting Myanmar, following a call from global workers' union Industriall to divest from the country, which is under military rule. An Inditex spokesperson said the announcement was initially made in June.
Industriall has asked companies doing business in Myanmar to cease their operations, divest, stop placing new orders, and halt business relations in the country.
“As a result, we continue to reduce the number of active manufacturers in the country,” an Inditex spokesperson wrote in an email.
The Industriall call is part of a campaign against military rule in the country, after a junta seized control of the government in February 2021, deposing the elected government.
“IndustriALL believes that the strategy to isolate the military junta diplomatically and economically is the most effective way to bring peaceful change to Myanmar,” the union’s website reads. “The campaign for sanctions will intensify and increasing pressure will come on companies that continue to operate in Myanmar.”
It is unclear how much of Inditex’s materials are sourced from Myanmar. According to its most recent annual report, its supply chain had 1729 direct suppliers in 50 markets.
In May, Walk Free released its 2023 Global Slavery Index, which found that garments and textiles, some of the fashion industry’s key components, were at-risk of being manufactured using modern slavery, and that in Myanmar, children have experienced forced labor conditions on rubber plantations.