Transforming Business Models in the Global Garment Industry in Bangladesh: Are Partnerships the Answer?

Despite the claims of many fashion brands to engage in responsible sourcing practices, the typical characteristics of garment supply chains - hyper flexibility, lack of transparency, and unequal power dynamics - are not readily compatible with these brand commitments. In addition, it is common for global retailers to engage in transactional or indirect relationships with their suppliers in the Global South that can undermine human rights and exacerbate poor working conditions. This panel explores the potential of a buyer-supplier partnership model to benefit global retailers, suppliers, and most importantly, garment workers.

Co-organized by the Subir and Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies, University of California at Berkeley and the Geneva Center for Business and Human Rights, this panel is a part of the OECD Forum on Due Diligence in the Garment and Footwear Sector.

Scroll down to watch the recording.


Dorothée Baumann-Pauly, Professor of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Geneva University
Abrar Hossain Sayem, Director of Sayem Group, Managing Director of Merchant Bay
Natasja Sheriff, Senior Program Manager, NYU Stern’s Center for Business and Human Rights


Sanchita Banerjee Saxena, Executive Director, Institute for South Asia Studies; Director, Subir and Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies; Professional faculty, Responsible Business, Haas School of Business