by Siddique Islam

The third edition of Bangladesh Denim Expo has begun on Wednesday in the capital Dhaka aiming to attract global buyers featuring eco-sustainable denim development.

Organizers, visitors and buyers expressed their satisfaction with the expo, saying it will help creating a one-stop sourcing platform of the entire denim value chain.

They also said that there is a possibility for Bangladesh to become number one denim exporter within 10 years but the South Asian country would have to introduce more transparent production system with sustainable wages for the workers.

Bangladesh has become a major hub for sourcing trendy denim products for international retailers for its competitive pricing, they added.

Talking to the SPORTSWEAR INTERNATIONAL, Anilkumar, country head-Bangladesh of Indian Arvind Limited, there is no alternative without establishing eco-sustainable denim subsector for attracting buyers across the world. “The entrepreneurs will have to establish the eco-sustainable denim to keep their business growth continues,” Mr. Anilkumar explained.
The Bangladesh Denim Expo is organizing the fair to popularize the denim products across the world.

Inaugurating the expo, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Bangladesh Denim Expo Mostafiz Uddin said the objective of the show is not only to promote the denim trade in the country but also to encourage better business practice to raise better living standard of the people.

“It’s a non-profit initiative. The surplus fund from the show will be donated to a seed fund for establishing a Denim University in Bangladesh,” Mr. Mostafiz said while addressing the inaugural panel discussion of the expo.

Bangladesh Denim Expo bets on eco-sustainable
Bangladesh Denim Expo bets on eco-sustainable

The two-day long exhibition is going on at Bashundhara Convention City in Dhaka, where also a total of four seminars and a panel discussion about further sustainable development of the denim sector were held. which also includes a number of panel discussion and seminars on further sustainable development of denim sector.

During the discussion and seminars, a group of international experts along with local ones addressed all aspects of sustainability, ecology and consciousness of denim encompassing the rage of manufacturing to dying and wet-processing.

Taking part in the discussion on Building Leaders for Sustained Growth, Roger Hubert, regional head for Bangladesh and Pakistan of Swedish retail giant H&M, said the denim sector will make further progress.

He also suggested the sector people to find new ways of investment in education, especially for fashion designing. “Raise the issue of workers’ rights and standards and if all the aspects are sustainable, branding will follow automatically.”

Bangladesh Denim Expo offers discussion and seminars
Bangladesh Denim Expo offers discussion and seminars

A total of 39 exhibitors from 11 countries – Bangladesh, Japan, USA, Germany, Spain, China, Pakistan, Thailand, Singapore, Turkey and Belgium – are participating in the expo to showcase their denim pants, fabrics and latest accessories.

Of the participants, 14 are from Bangladesh and 25 are foreign companies, according to the organizers.

They also said the visitors are discovering the latest technology, equipment and materials for use within the denim industry at the expo which will end Thursday evening.

As sustainability and environmental issues become ever more integral requirements and concerns for global consumers, it is good to see Bangladesh’s manufacturers planning for the future and investing in sustainable growth, a visitor observed.

Talking to the SPORTSWEAR INTERNATIONAL, Mr. Mostafiz, the key organizer of the fair, said: “We want to establish eco-sustainable denim subsector through developing our leadership and upgrading all factories with own resources.”

He also said: “We put the focus of this edition on ‘sustainable denim,’ the buzzword that will shape the future of the industry.”

The expo offers the global fashion buyers a one-stop sourcing platform for all aspects of Jeanswear, he explained. “It’s a true hub for all important players in the international denim sector.”

39 exhibitors at Bangladesh Denim Expo
39 exhibitors at Bangladesh Denim Expo

The fourth and fifth denim expo will be held in the capital in April and November next year, Mr. Mostafiz, also managing director of Denim Expert Limited, announced.

The Denim Expert Limited, a Bangladesh-Netherlands joint venture operating from Chittagong-based Karnaphuli Export Processing Zone, supplies its BlueXonly brand products to boutiques in different European countries, including the Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary and Italy.

Bangladesh is the second largest exporter of jeans to the European market and number three for the United States. Around 400 factories export nearly 180 million denim garments across the world each year.

Currently, 25 denim factories are operating in Bangladesh, who produce around 20 million yards of the fabric every month to meet half of the local demand. The rest is imported. Total investment in the sub-sector stands at US$ 835 million (BDT 65 billion).

Bangladeshi entrepreneurs supply denim to major retailers and brands, including H&M, Uniqlo, Levis, Nike, Tesco, Wrangler, s.Oliver, Hugo Boss, Puma, Primark, JC Penney, C&A, Tommy Hilfiger, Inditex, Walmart, M&S, Calvin Klein, Diesel, Gap, Channel and Dior and G-Star.