Bangladesh’s denim makers should diversify their products from basic to high-end using modern technologies for ensuring sustainability in the emerging sector, experts have said.
Creativity, sustainability, innovation and the use of latest technologies are the key for survivable in the age of digitization, they explained.
These observations were made at a two-day long Bangladesh Denim Expo held at International Convention City Bashundhara in the capital Dhaka on May 9-10.
They also recommended that the buyers, producers and the government will have to work together for ensuring sustainability in the overall fashion industry of Bangladesh.
Exhibitors as well as buyers expressed their satisfactions over the expo, saying that Bangladesh’s denim business is growing gradually and some factories have started production of high-end products to attract buyers, particularly from the European Union and the United States.
“Most of the Bangladeshis denim factories have already started process to ensure sustainability of their products,” Masud Dewan, Assistant General Manager (Marketing) of Shasha Denims Limited, told the SPORTSWEAR INTERNATIONAL while explaining the latest situation on sustainability of the country’s denim sector.
Shasha Denims Limited, a leading denim producer in Bangladesh, makes fabrics for different global brands including Marks & Spencer, Zara, C&A, Cotton on, Target Australia, George, New Look, Tesco, Best seller, Jack&Jones, Dressman and Gina tricot.
Talking to the SPORTSWEAR INTERNATIONAL, Ms. Jenefa Jabbar, Regional Responsible Sourcing Director—South Asia, JC Penney, Bangladesh, said local denim makers should reduce their cost of production by using ‘hi-tech’.
She also suggested to improve efficiency of workers particularly women that will also help improve productivity in the apparel and clothing industry of Bangladesh.
With the presence of nearly 4,000 garment factories that together employ around 4.0 million workers, including 65 percent of women, Bangladesh is currently the second-largest garment exporter in the world, next only to China.
Shafiur Rahman, Regional Operation Manager of G-Star P.I.C. Bangladesh, emphasized on improvement of the mid-level management for strengthening productivity in the sector.
“We’ve to increase productivity further with good quality of products.”
At present, Bangladesh has more than 30 denim mills with a total annual production capacity of about 443 million meters. Existing investment in the sector is over US$1.0 billion, according to the industry insiders.
They also said around 80 per cent of Bangladesh’s denim products export to the European markets while rest of 20 per cent to the United States.
Bangladesh currently exports Blue Denim Trousers WG, Blue Denim Trousers MB, Blue Denim Skirts, Blue Denim Jackets, Blue Denim Suit Type Coats MB and Playsuits, among other products, to the global markets.
Bangladeshi entrepreneurs supply denim to major retailers and brands, including H&M, Uniqlo, Levis, Nike, Tesco, Wrangler, Hugo Boss, Puma, Primark, JC Penney, C&A, Inditex, Walmart, M&S, Calvin Klein, Diesel, Gap, Channel and Dior and G-Star.
The theme of the exhibit was “Equality,” aimed at mobilizing global brands and retailers, manufacturers, governments and development partners to establish a more equitable global apparel supply chain, according to the organizers.
“We want to draw attention to equal rights for workers as well as employers to ensure that both parties are treated with respect and can enjoy a good working relationship,” Mostafiz Uddin, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Bangladesh Denim Expo told the SPORTSWEAR INTERNATIONAL while explaining the main objective of the theme.
He also said the expo became a spot of regular get together of key denim stakeholders from across the world. “The cumulative increase of the visitors in its each edition signifies the country’s strong position in the global denim scene.”
A total of 17 local and 44 foreign companies from 14 countries including China, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Pakistan, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Singapore and the US took part at the expo to display their latest products and services.