Sustainability re-defined in the pandemic? Disruption, resilience and adjustment in the apparel and footwear industries of Vietnam


Vietnam has been widely hailed as one of the most successful countries in the world at containing the COVID-19 pandemic with the number of cases under 2,000 while keeping the economy growing at 2.9% in 2020. What is often missing from this bright picture is the struggle of thousands of enterprises and millions of workers. The apparel and footwear industries have been among the most affected sectors in Vietnam. Their stories are not exceptional among the other garment-exporting countries: disruption of material supply, cancellation of orders, postponement of shipping, and delay of payments which have led to work suspension, income reduction, and job loss for millions of rank-and-file workers.

Fair Wear Foundation and CARE International in Vietnam co-sponsor this policy paper which draws from two recent studies: “COVID-19 impacts on footwear and apparel workers in Vietnam” (funded by TARGET and CNV International and conducted by CARE International in Vietnam) and Textile, garment and footwear industries amid the COVID-19 crisis –
Impacts and Strategic Responses
(funded by the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), CNV International, Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) and conducted by the Research Center for Employment Relations (ERC), to sketch a comprehensive picture of the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the apparel and footwear industries in Vietnam.

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