Italy-based global fashion brand Benetton Group has temporarily halted all new orders from Myanmar with immediate effect.
The move is in response to increasing violence in the country following the ousting of Aung San Suu Kyi’s government on 1 February. With the suspension, Benetton Group aims to send a message on its stance against violence.
Benetton Group said in a statement: “We express our deepest concerns over the events in Myanmar. The situation presents so many safety issues and violations of rights and freedom that we have decided to suspend all new orders to the country.”
Chief executive officer Massimo Renon said: “Benetton Group is a loudspeaker for fundamental values such as inclusivity, integration and non-violence in each market where it operates.
“We can’t help but contribute as a company to make sure these [values] are respected, and we are committed to doing our part. We are suspending the orders coming from Myanmar to show a strong and concrete signal.
“Our hope is that the situation returns, as soon as possible, to one that guarantees people’s fundamental rights, and that our group may once again resume its action of supporting the local populations, which also involves promoting work and dignity.”
According to information posted to the company’s website, Myanmar accounts for 2% of its suppliers.
Other fashion brands, including Sweden-based retailer H&M, have suspended new orders from the country.
Earlier this month, Benetton Group unveiled a new store concept in Florence as part of a project to improve its environmental and social performance. The 160m² store is built from upcycled natural materials, including materials made using textile industry scrap.