Sustainable Apparel Forum in Dhaka on Nov 5

Staff Correspondent | Published at 12:00am on October 15, 2019


Netherlands ambassador to Bangladesh Harry Verweij, Swedish ambassador to Bangladesh Charlotta Schlyter, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association president Rubana Huq and vice-president MA Rahim (Feroz), and Swedish retail giant H&M country director Ziaur Rahman are seen, among others, at a press conference organised by BGMEA and BAE at Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka on Monday. — New Age photo

Diplomats and businesses on Monday said that a sustainable readymade garment sector could ensure economic growth, job creation and social progress in Bangladesh.

This is high time for Bangladesh garment industry to demonstrate its determination to make the industry sustainable, they said at a press conference on the eve of the second edition of Sustainable Apparel Forum.

The Bangladesh Apparel Exchange and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association jointly organised the press conference at the Sonargaon Hotel in capital Dhaka.

The BAE and the BGMEA will jointly organise the second edition of Sustainable Apparel Forum at the International Convention City, Bashundhara in Dhaka on November 5.

Harry Verweij, ambassador of the Netherlands in Bangladesh, said that the eyes of the world would be on Bangladesh in coming years as a sustainable garment sector in the country was a real possibility.

‘Nobody wants to buy products that are made by children or that seriously harm the environment. People expect products to be responsibly sourced. People feel they have a right to fair products, produced without human rights violations and environmental damage,’ he said.

Verweij said that it was high time for the fashion industry to not only commit but also demonstrate its determination and ability to make the supply chain sustainable by reducing carbon emissions, raising public awareness about climate change and minimising environmental impacts.

He said 2020 would be a transitional year for Bangladesh as the Accord was scheduled to depart from the country and the RMG Sustainability Council would be in place to look after the safety in the garment sector.

‘We want Bangladesh becomes the Asian tiger,’ Verweij added.

Ziaur Rahman, country director of Swedish retail giant H&M, said Bangladesh’s RMG business had a very big potential in near future as the consumption of apparel items would increase by 65 per cent worldwide by 2030.

He also identified environment pollution as a very big challenge for the industry.

Ziaur said that his company had already asked all of its suppliers and manufacturers to be more aware of the sustainability of the fashion business.

‘For me sustainability is not only environment, it is very much about sustainable factories, labour practice and of course sustaining and subscribing sustainable environment prices,’ BGMEA president Rubana Huq said.

She said that Bangladesh established many world-class green factories without the prescriptions from any buyers, but they made those only for sustainability of the business and environment.

Charlotta Schlyter, ambassador of Sweden in Bangladesh, Mostafiz Uddin, managing director of the BAE, and MA Rahim (Feroz), vice-president of the BGMEA, also spoke at the press conference.