International Brands consider Bangladesh as the preferred choice in apparel sourcing due to the country’s improvement in the production facility and compliance in the last few years. Brands expressed such views on Tuesday, 10 May 22 at the launching of the third edition of Sustainable Apparel Forum (SAF) organized by Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE) partnering with Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BGMEA). The 12th denim expo was also inaugurated at the same time.
Current important apparel sustainability issues such as climate action, environmental social & governance (ESG) and green finance, purchasing practices, due diligence and legislation, and circular economy were discussed at the five plenary sessions along with opening and closing plenaries of the SAF.
The RMG industry of Bangladesh have worked hard to ensure safety regulations, especially after disastrous event of Rana Plaza, said Md Atiqul Islam, mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation, and former BGMEA president.
"Bangladesh has the highest number of green garment factories in the world. We believe that sustainability is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. We are committed to maintaining the excellence in social and environmental areas which we have already achieved," said Md Faruque Hassan, current BGMEA president.
Ziaur Rahman, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Ethiopia Regional Head of Swedish retail giant H&M said, “Bangladesh is the most important sourcing destination for our company.” He also is positive about Bangladesh RMG export to reach $100 billion in the next 10 years.
Similarly, Shafiur Rahman, regional operations manager of G-Star, said his company sources garment items worth $70 million, of which 75% were knitwear items. He also added that his company cannot think about sourcing without Bangladesh.
Bangladesh should be proud of what has been achieved. Bangladesh has made huge strides towards a more sustainable garment sector. I often challenge people to give me another example of a sector that has turned around the image and its degree of compliance in such a short amount of time. I never get a serious reply,” said Anne Van Leeuwen, the Dutch envoy in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh RMG industry has come a long way in the last decade. However, there remains many challenges. One such challenge is decreasing RMG’s impact on the environment. There is plenty of work to be done in this sector.