Bangladesh has emerged as the next hot spot for apparel sourcing. The country’s readymade garment sector has enjoyed rapid expansion, reaching an audience of international buyers and contributing to 83 per cent of the nation’s GDP.
Bangladesh has 796 woven fabric manufacturers, 31 of which are denim mills and 22 are producing home textiles, with an annual capacity of some 3,850 million meters of fabric. The country is also home to 240 dyeing, printing, and finishing mills, producing a further 3,170 million meters of fabric per annum. However, demand from domestic manufacturers of woven apparel is currently far outstripping supply. So the country needs to further develop its textile manufacturing capabilities.
Bangladesh has a limited supply of domestic cotton fibers, producing some 1,28,000 bales of cotton domestically, but importing in excess of seven million bales a year, and is reliant on the import of manmade fibers including polyester, viscose, and Tencel.
The readymade garment industry needs to redress the balance between imported woven fabrics and those domestically produced. With 60 per cent woven fabrics being imported, it means that approximately 45 per cent of Bangladesh’s woven apparel production is facing lead-time pressure, as imported goods will incur lead times of anything between 28 and 42 days.