The just concluded Dhaka Apparel Summit showcased the development of textile and apparel industry in Bangladesh. This year’s focus was on sustainability in apparel supply chain with the specific aim of creating a better future together. Panel discussions offered an interactive approach and the opportunity for a valid exchange of ideas.
Among suggestions to improve Bangladesh’s readymade garment industry were moving women into management roles, better training of the workforce and lower and mid-level managers and competitive wages. Vocational and soft skill training were seen as the need of the hour, together with trust and collaboration. Speakers said the race for cheap goods, which Bangladesh is currently doing, involves the risk of stagnation. Businesses were also exhorted to take the initiative in sustainability.
Buyers wanted assurances about issues such as environment, gender, labor rights and worker health. Buyers wanted products that meet the demands of their customers. They also wanted assurances that their markets and their major sources of goods are stable and dependable. Marks & Spencer does the bulk of its sourcing from Bangladesh. Where M&S ordered simple products like basic polo shirts and denims in the beginning, it has now moved up to value-added products like dresses and tailored suit jackets.