The manufacturing facility of PVH Corp. in Ethiopia’s Hawassa Industrial Park is closing amidst the country’s Tigray conflict. PVH / Bureau of Global Public Affairs
Chief supply chain officer Sarah Clarke made the announcement to the company in a note sent out Wednesday, citing the Ethiopian’s government current conflict with forces aligned with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.
PVH Corp. built its factory in Ethiopia’s Hawassa Industrial Park in 2016. The facility was the subject of a labour abuse probe in 2019, when an investigation revealed employees faced workplace discrimination and were paid as little as 12 cents an hour (PVH ran its own investigation, and later addressed these labour violations). Over the summer, PVH sold its Heritage Brands portfolio and was in the process of transferring over the facility to a partner in Ethiopia before tensions escalated. Clarke said PVH will close the facility on November 25.
“The speed and volatility of the escalating situation there made [the sale and transfer] no longer possible, resulting in the difficult decision to close the facility,” Clarke wrote. “We are continuing to explore options for a long-term solution for the facility to continue operating.”
Both the US and British governments have issued travel advisories to Ethiopia this week as the country’s Tigray conflict continues to escalate.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include the year PVH Corp. built its factory.
The pandemic is not the only cause of disruption to global supply chains. From Myanmar to Ethiopia, civil unrest and political conflict are impacting suppliers used by brands like H&M and Benetton.