Cotton and garment waste are essential raw materials for Bangladesh’s terry towel, home textile and rotor spinning mills. But they are in short supply and are being exported instead. Export of garment waste increased 140 per cent in the first three months of the current fiscal year.
Textile mills produce some 150 million kg of cotton waste. Following the scarcity of raw materials, factories are unable to meet export orders and maintain lead times. Factory owners say exports of cotton waste should be stopped and high tariffs should be imposed to discourage exports.
Some 110 home textile and terry towel factories create employment for some 65,000 workers in the country. Bangladesh’s rotor spinning mills produce yarn using cotton waste and similarly modern recycling mills produce another type of yarn using waste from readymade garments especially knit fabrics. These yarns are used in making terry towels, home textiles, denim and other types of clothing and exported to global markets fetching millions of dollars of foreign currency.
Denim mills for instance can't use their full production capacity due to a shortage of the required yarn. More than 26 denim mills across the country need 200 million kg of yarn to produce 400 million meters of denim fabric.