A "Made in Bangladesh Week" to change the image of the local textile industry
Bangladeshi manufacturers held a "Made in Bangladesh Week" from November 12 to 18 in Dhaka. As next April will mark the tenth anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy, government and manufacturers intended to change the image of "Made in Bangladesh" by inviting brands, NGOs and elected officials to a series of events and tours.
The event was inaugurated by Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina. As the world's second largest supplier of clothing after China, the textile sector is a pillar of the national economy. The sector represents some 10% of the gross domestic product and employs 4.4 million people in more than 4,000 factories.
For Faruque Hassan, the president of the local garment manufacturers association BGMEA, the aim of this "Made in Bangladesh Week" was to highlight "the potential of Bangladesh with a realistic account of why brands, buyers and investors from all over the world choose Bangladesh as their preferred sourcing and investment destination".
The week of events consisted of the Dhaka Apparel Expo and Bangladesh Denim Expo, followed by a Dhaka Apparel Summit bringing together all the players in the industry. There was also a Fashion Innovation show, awards for sustainable and innovative design, exhibitions dedicated to the sector, as well as tours of the latest generation of factories, and above all a tour of the new BGMEA Innovation Center dedicated to the sector's modernization.
"Giving brands a sustainable supply base"
"The long-term prosperity of the Bangladeshi textile industry will depend on the competitiveness of our country, and in particular on the issues of responsibility," BGMEA vice president Miran Ali told us in late October. "Our goal is to give brands a sustainable supply base that they can be sure will not damage their reputation. We have the largest number of green factories in the world, and that number is growing. We have 57 platinum-rated companies and 105 gold-rated companies (according to the US Green Building Council's ranking)."
Bangladeshi apparel exports reached $35.8 billion in 2021 (33.05 billion euros). An increase of 30% compared to 2020, which was heavily impacted by confinements and order cancellations. But also an increase of 8.2% compared to 2019, marking the sector's long-awaited return to pre-crisis levels.
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