WASHINGTON — Apparel companies assessed the situation on the ground in Haiti on Wednesday after the devastating earthquake on Tuesday that killed thousands of people and crippled the Caribbean nation.
The American Apparel & Footwear Association and the U.S. Association of Importers of Textiles & Apparel said they had reached out to members doing business in Haiti and would continue to do so as the situation evolved.
“Right now, members are focusing on the safety of workers and providing relief,” said Kevin Burke, president and chief executive officer of the AAFA. “As we learn more information we will be able to better assess the possibility of business disruptions and will work with members to prevent them.”
The AAFA Apparel Foundation, the group’s charitable arm, began coordinating with disaster relief organizations on Wednesday to offer assistance. Allan Ellinger chairman of the Fashion Delivers Foundation, has put out a call for donated women’s and men’s clothing, as well as sheets, throws and blankets.
Communications and infrastructure collapses in Haiti have complicated efforts to assess the impact of the disaster.
Gildan Activewear Inc. said it would move some of its manufacturing operations to Central America after the earthquake in Haiti damaged one of its subcontractor’s factories. The Montreal-based company, which manufactures T-shirts, socks and underwear, said one of three factories that sews fabric for Gildan suffered substantial damage during Tuesday’s quake.
Gildan said it would shift production of the shirts destined for the U.S. screen-print market to the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua. The company said its U.S. retail customers will not be affected.
Haiti is the 17th largest supplier of apparel products to the U.S. by volume. According to the most recent data from the Commerce Department’s Office of Textiles & Apparel, imports to the U.S. from Haiti increased 6.8 percent to 217.1 million square meter equivalents for the period between January and November 2009 compared with a year earlier.
Haiti has substantial trade preferences in the U.S. through the Haitian Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement Act, or HOPE, which was passed by Congress in 2006. Provisions were added to the agreement two years later to simplify trade preference programs and encourage more development. Haiti’s benefits include duty-free status, lower labor costs and reduced shipping times.
In response to the earthquake, U.S. officials said they were sending humanitarian aid. President Obama said efforts were focused on accounting for U.S. citizens and embassy personnel, mobilizing resources to help in rescue efforts and working to take unified steps with other countries to further aid the impoverished country.
Calls for donations came from nongovernmental organizations and government agencies alike. Haitian musician Wyclef Jean posted a call for aid on Twitter.
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)