Bangladesh court orders injunction against Edinburgh Woolen Mill, owner of Peacocks

According to a report published in the Dhaka Grandstanda court has ruled that any agent or buying house of Edinburgh Woolen Mill Ltd (EWM) will not be able to do business with Bangladesh.

The report, citing the managing directors of four Bangladesh Garment Manufacturing and Exporters Association (BGMEA) member companies in the country, says a filing alleges that EWM was trying to evade payment worth BDT 5.98. on the pretext that its subsidiary Peacocks, which imported the products, was bankrupt.

In 2020, Edinburgh Woolen Mill fell into administration, a decision resulting in the loss of some 750 jobs.

This followed a June report in which the BGMEA threatened to blacklist the company for unpaid invoices.

BGMEA President, Rubana Huq, wrote an email to EWM owner Philip Day in which she said the group was “unduly taking advantage of the Covid-19 situation.

She explained that the requested discounts are “not only impossible to provide by our members, but also in violation of local laws, internationally acceptable standards; and further challenges all the principles of ethical sourcing and governance that brands and international organizations expect from the industry and all of its stakeholders.”

In its response, EWM said it had been “unfairly targeted”, adding that it had “operated in Bangladesh for over two decades and enjoyed an enviable reputation”.

It also said it had reached agreement with 22 of the 29 BGMEA members on its standard trading terms, some of which requested alternative terms, for which discounts were discussed.

According to the latest report from Dhaka Grandstandciting attorney Imtiaz Moinul Islam, who filed the case on behalf of the four companies (Designtex Knitwear Limited, Designtex Fashions Limited, Knit Bazaar (Pvt) Limited and Bottoms Gallery (Pvt) Limited), EWM continues to do business in the country under a different name and “pretending to be a new business” which he said is “harming the RMG sector of Bangladesh.

A request for an injunction was filed on May 19 and the court issued a temporary injunction order.

In an email to Just Style, an EWM spokesperson said: “The case presented by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association is without merit and our lawyers in Bangladesh are contesting it.

The BGMEA could not be reached for comment at press time.

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