Bangladeshi manufactures have urged international apparel brands and buyers to pay ethical prices as the former are following an ethical process to make clothes.
"We hope buyers will pay ethical prices as we hold the second position in ethical production," said Faruque Hassan, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), at a virtual press briefing on Saturday.
He said apparel entrepreneurs have invested in green initiatives to make the industry environment-friendly, energy- efficient, and cost-effective.
The US Green Building Council (USGBC) has honoured the BGMEA with the 2021 USGBC Leadership Award as a recognition of green initiatives by Bangladeshi apparel entrepreneurs.
Faruque said the BGMEA is the only organisation in the global apparel industry that got this award for its exemplary leadership in developing Bangladesh as the home of the highest number of green garment factories in the world.
In a media release on Friday, the USGBC announced the awardees from around the world. They were awarded for innovations in sustainability for healthy, equitable, and resilient buildings and communities during a virtual conference on Thursday.
Faruque said, "Apparel, as the country's main export industry, is responsible for keeping the wheels of the economy turning. But while we do it, we cannot stay indifferent to the negative externalities of growth, especially when it comes to the environment."
"I believe the new generation entrepreneurs will carry this success forward and take it to new heights. Sustainability is not a sprint; it is a marathon. We, by no means, should lose the race."
Bangladesh now boasts the highest number of green apparel factories in the world, according to the USGBC. It has 143 green factories, of which 41 are platinum rated and the rest have gold and silver ratings of the USGBC.
The BGMEA president said more than 500 factories have already registered with the USGBC to be certified as green.
BGMEA, as the main body governing the apparel industry, is leading the way to reduce environmental costs of production in the apparel sector, he said.
Md Shahidullah Azim, BGMEA vice-president, and its directors Barrister Shehrin Salam Oishee and Md Mohiuddin Rubel were also present at the programme.