Eid clothing orders are high, but stores don’t have enough workers

Although there is no official data on the number of people working in small sewing businesses, owners say many artisans have changed careers while young people are not interested in sewing or dressmaking .

Due to high demand ahead of Eid, stores have been forced to refuse orders and many customers are going home empty-handed.

University student Kashfia, one such customer who identified with only one name, was turned away from tailor shops at the Banani supermarket on Monday after trying to place an order for a salwar kameez.

“Some stores usually do not take orders after the 10th of Ramadan. I gave it a shot anyway. One store said the quality of craftsmanship would not be very good amid the Eid rush. He advised me to place the order after Eid.

Some stores still accept orders, but with an additional charge.

Jerin Jannat bought an outfit at New Market. A few stores refused to take her order, but she eventually managed to find a store to do the job for her.

“They told me I had to pay double. Later I negotiated and managed to lower the price a bit.”

SHORTAGE OF CRAFTSMEN

Cutting masters and sewers are busy in Dhaka shops. Many tailors stopped taking orders at the start of Ramadan.

Abdul Hamid, owner of a store in Elephant Road, said that despite many orders received this year, they are in dire straits due to a shortage of artisans.

“We are not able to take a large number of orders. There is a labor shortage. We couldn’t make huge profits due to labor shortage.

Many have moved on to other professions and some have left the country for Dubai and Saudi Arabia as there is a high demand for artisans there, he said.

“This time we took about 200,000 Tk in orders, which is a third of the money we made in 2019.”

Faisal Mia, another shop owner in Elephant Road, said owners mainly rely on cutting masters to make clothes. After cutting the clothes, others sew them.

But now the tailoring masters sew the clothes themselves whenever there are extra orders because there is a shortage of sewers, Faisal claimed.

“A master must be paid twice as much as a sewer. So I count the losses. This would not have been the case had there not been a labor shortage.

Speaking about the future of the profession, Faisal said: “When we learned our trade, many others became interested in it. The literacy rate was low at that time. Now everyone has a school certificate. People are not interested. learn to sew after passing their SSC exams.

“There is a shortage of new people in this profession for this reason. The old ones leave the country when they have a good opportunity. Many artisans from all over the country have gone abroad after the pandemic has passed. installed”.

Many tailors are still caving in under the burden of loans they took out during the pandemic.

Md Selim, owner of Robi Fashion Tailors at Rongdhonu Shopping Complex in Mirpur, said he was on the road to recovery after taking out loans for the past two years.

Shamim, a store worker who gave only one name, said he took jobs as a Karchupi craftsman or in a laundry because owner Selim was working alone during the pandemic. Selim called him back after things got better.

Khokon Mia, a store owner at Banani Super Market, said he had never seen “such a crisis” of artisans in his 18 years in the business.

“I couldn’t find any workers, especially those who sew. There was a time when many would offer their services during the Eid season in hopes of earning some quick cash. Now I can’t find nobody.”

About Carl Schroeder

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