During the first half of 2020, the coronavirus pandemic caused a fall of about 3% in world trade values. COVID-19 was responsible for the largest economic contraction since World War II, affecting all industries, from finance to hospitality.
According to data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, forecasts suggest that trade volumes will decline further after 2021, at rates that could fall by 17% by 2024.
In the midst of this gloomy scenario, an industry that has contributed considerably to the fight against the virus remains firm: the textile industry.
The textile industry also takes the punch
The manufacture of textiles for clothing or other uses was already facing challenges before the world entered totally uncharted territory. Changes in consumer demand, changes in production and supply chain, etc. But nothing like what it means to be immersed in a COVID-19 pandemic.
The arrival of the virus to the world created an unprecedented crisis also for the textile industry. From the companies that produce the input, or those that design the final product, to those that specialize in the manufacture of clothing. A well-built, agile supply chain could have protected some industry players from the initial shock.
But as the virus has crossed continents, very few actors have escaped feeling it. In times of adversity, it would seem easy for many companies to hit the panic button, take drastic action, or seek quick profit opportunities.
The fact is, for a few committed companies, profits have become secondary. Manufacturers in the industry who take advantage of difficult times to add and reach out to others will have a much better prognosis even after the crisis.
The relevance of GK during the pandemic
When the pandemic began to take hold not only in Honduras, but also in Guatemala, GK, one of the largest textile manufacturers in the region, entered a completely unknown territory, changing its business strategy and carrying out production and donation of reusable masks.
It seems logical that a textile production chain can be adapted to produce masks or other fabric inputs relevant to medical personnel or the public, but it is not easy to carry it out quickly, and it is a fact that not all textile companies do. they made.
While there was still uncertainty surrounding vaccines and their effectiveness, the Group demonstrated the ability to respond in a timely manner to the initial desperate shortage of masks, and did so by keeping its collaborators in their jobs while creating values for the community in general.
Empathy and loyalty produce long-term rewards. In times of crisis, it can be tempting to make outlandish promises when masks, or anything else, suddenly become coveted or rare. But GK has shown that at least at home, ethics are still important in business.
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