Held in Dhaka, the 3rd edition of the Sustainable Apparel Forum focused on accelerating the momentum of sustainability in the Bangladesh apparel industry. Attended by over 50 speakers and 20 green growth exhibitors from over 20 countries, the forum was organized by Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE) partnering with Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BGMEA).
It included five plenary sessions on topics such as ‘Demystifying Climate Action’, ‘Purchasing Practice’, ‘ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) & Green Finance’, ‘Closing the Loop: Circular Economy in the Fashion Industry’, and ‘Due Diligence and Legislation’ along with an opening plenary and a closing plenary.
Speakers included: Tipu Munshi, Commerce Minister, Bangladesh; Md. Atiqul Islam, Mayor, Dhaka North City Corporation and Former President, BGMEA; Charles Whiteley, Ambassador & Head-European Union delegation to Bangladesh; Anne Van Leeuwen, Ambassador, Kingdom of the Netherlands to Bangladesh; M Riaz Hamidullah, Ambassador, Bangladesh to the Kingdom of the Netherlands; Faruque Hassan, President, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BGMEA); Mohammad Hatem, Executive President, BKMEA; Anna Athanasopoulou, Head - Social Economy & Creative Industries, European Commission, etc.
Founder and CEO of Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE) Mostafiz Uddin said: “At this year’s SAF we have brought all the fashion stakeholders under one roof to accelerate the momentum of sustainability in Bangladesh apparel industry, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic which has had immense impact on global apparel supply chain. This is high-level networking where it has been discussed how we can turn the needle so that the lofty sustainability goals our industry so often talks about are translated into meaningful, practical actions?”
BGMEA president Faruque Hassan said: “Today our clothing factories are not only safer, but also have become more dynamic, modern, energy-efficient and environment-friendly. Bangladesh has by far the highest number of green garment factories in the world. US Green Building Council (USGBC) certified a total of 160 Bangladeshi factories as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), among them 48 are LEED platinum-rated. 40 out of the world’s top 100 garment factories are in Bangladesh. Moreover, 500 more factories are in the pipeline for certification.” BGMEA joined the UN Fashion Industry Charter (UNFCCC) with an ambition to reduce GHG emission by 30 per cent till 2030.