PVH Corp set to close its factory in Hawassa Industrial Park


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.

The facility was the subject of a labor 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 labor 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.

Hawassa Industrial Park (HIP) is a flagship industrial park developed and supported by the Ethiopian government specializing in textile and garment production. As one of the earliest industries, it has 52 factories and 23 companies. Employees that are involved in direct manufacturing products are 29,000 ill-educated,  6000 educated employees, from the overall industrial productions 50 pc is from Hawassa industrial park, 70 pc of the HIP production goes to the American market, and one of the compelling reasons for foreign investors to invest in is AGOA.

One of the foreign investors operating in the HIP is PVH Corp, which has been established in 2016. Involving in the manufacturing of clothing.

“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.