- Deal the sector's challenged together
- Functional collaboration between buyers and manufacturers
Where Bangladesh Stands
- Bangladesh has the highest 177 green factories
- 58 of which platinum rated
Scopes of improvement
- Waste reduction without losing productivity
- Decreasing water use, carbon emission in production
- Meeting occupational health and safety
- Increasing transparency
If Bangladesh's apparel industry wants to maintain its current position and competitive edge in the global market, it must take initiatives to reduce carbon footprint and make the products more environment friendly, said apparel industry stakeholders.
"Climate change is a global issue and the garment industry, as one of the largest sectors, has the responsibility to reduce environmental pollution," Cem Atlan, president of International Apparel Federation (IAF), said Monday at the 37th World Fashion Convention at the Westin in Dhaka.
"The European apparel market has adopted various policies to protect the environment. As a result, if manufacturers do not reduce carbon footprint, they may lose their market share," he added.
Dirk Vantyghem, director general of EURATEX, in his presentation at the IAF convention detailed the new EU regulatory framework, which lays out a set of ambition plans including Eco Design Regulation, Product Environmental Footprint, Extended Producer Responsibility, Due Diligence and Digital Product Passport.
"The EU has taken the initiative with the aim to be a climate-neutral region by 2050," said Vantyghem.
"To ensure these prerequisites, the production cost will go up. Therefore, it is important to create awareness among the consumers, who may not be ready to pay for a sustainable product but they do appreciate it," he added.
IAF President Cem Atlan said it is time to come together as an industry to solve the challenges the sector is facing.
"The major challenges of our industry can only be resolved through a real collaboration between buyers and manufacturers," Atlan stressed at the Convention, which is taking place simultaneously alongside the Made in Bangladesh Week.
Roger Hubert, managing director of RMG Sustainability Council, also emphasised a functional collaboration between brands and manufacturers along with workers' representatives.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Faruque Hassan said the country's apparel industry has undergone a massive transformation to ensure workplace safety, workers well-being and sustainability in the past decade.
"Bangladesh is now a role model of industrial safety and environmental sustainability to the world," he said, pointing out that Bangladesh currently has the highest 177 green factories certified by the US Green Building Council and 58 of them are platinum rated.
He, however, noted that there are scopes of improving in areas of waste reduction in manufacturing without losing productivity, decreasing water use and carbon emission in the production while meeting occupational health and safety and increasing transparency.
Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association vice president Fazlee Shamim Ehsan said, "Our factories are prioritising the reduction of climate footprint. Through our initiatives we are working towards establishing a sustainable apparel sector."
The week-long mega event, jointly organised by the BGMEA and the Bangladesh Apparel Exchange, aims to brand Bangladesh through showcasing the developments of the country's apparel industry.
Stakeholders from home and abroad, especially representatives of international brands and buyers who are currently doing business with Bangladesh are attending the event which will continue till 18 November.