Brands that manufacture in Nepal have launched a fundraising appeal to help rescue efforts in the country following the devastating earthquake on April 25.
The magnitude 7.8 earthquake, which hit 50 miles northwest of Nepal’s capital Kathmandu last week, has claimed the lives of more than 5,000 people so far and aftershocks continue to hamper rescue teams.
Fashion brands that manufacture in the country, including ethical fashion label Komodo, have launched a fundraising campaign called Brand Aid to support victims of the disaster.
Komodo, which employs 700 people in five factories in Nepal, producing 80% of the collection, has donated £3,000 to the appeal.
Managing director Mark Bloom told Drapers brands have a responsibility to help those affected: “We are urging brands, agents, retailers and consumers – anyone with a link to Nepal – to help. We want as many brands as possible to get involved.”
Accessories brand Kusan, which manufactures in Nepal, has donated a similar amount.
Bloom said brands must continue sending orders and manufacturing in Nepal once the country is back on its feet. “Leaving won’t help anyone. It’s important that brands continue ordering and retailers continue to support Nepal; trade will help to rebuild the country.”
He said the business is assessing the extend of the damage to its factories. Most of its staff are accounted for, but some are still missing.
Safia Minney, chief executive of People Tree, which employs 3,500 hand-knitters in Nepal, agreed: “We have a long-term partnership with Nepal and we have never encountered anything like this. It’s vital that we support them as best as we possibly can. The most important thing is to keep orders flowing and to find a way to make it work.”
Around 80% of the People Tree product made in Nepal (around 10% of the full autumn 15 collection) is ready to ship, but it is not known when transport routes will allow goods to be moved.
People Tree will launch an online campaign on Thursday with Fair Trade Group Nepal, which will see 10% of sales from its products made in Nepal going to communities hit by the earthquake.
David Hathiramani, co-founder of menswear business A Suit That Fits, which employs 53 people in Kathmandu, said locals are still being affected by aftershocks.
“Our team will return to business once they are happy to; currently in Nepal there is still fear of going inside buildings in case of any further tremors.”
He added: “We are in constant contact with our staff and when the tremors are over, and the damage is assessed, we will be ensuring that we do everything possible to help rebuild the country. Nepal deserves to be prosperous and we must all help ensure that it gets there.”
Earlier this week Inditex announced it was donating €1.2m (£852,000) to the Red Cross, Oxfam and Caritas to help with rescue efforts.
Donations for Brand Aid are being collected through the charitable trust, The Bulldog Trust. Click here to donate or contact head of grants and philanthropy, Alison Marston on 020 7240 6044 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.