How can the fashion industry protect workers from extreme weather?
Two reports published this month by the Global Labor Institute (GLI) at U.S.-based Cornell University and investment manager Schroders found increased flooding and rising heat could deprive four key garment-producing countries - Bangladesh, Cambodia, Pakistan and Vietnam - of $66 billion in export revenues by 2030, and more than $1.4 trillion by 2050, compared to what they could earn if they adapted effectively to the threats.
High heat and humidity can leave workers exhausted and ill, reducing their capacity, said the researchers, while floods can stop them from reaching their workplaces, cutting their income.
Kalpona Akter, executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity, said most garment factories have yet to take precautions to deal with climate risks for their labour force.
"The focus on energy or resource efficiency often overlooks how the changing climate impacts the workers, while the costs and risks (of climate hazards) are borne disproportionately by workers and employers," Judd said in an interview.
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