The Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE) and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) will jointly host the second edition of the Sustainable Apparel Forum on November 5, 2019, at the International Convention City in Bashundhara. The organizers announced it at a media briefing on 14 October at Sonargaon hotel in Dhaka.
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 were the speakers of the press conference.
The Sustainable Apparel Forum 2019 will host two round-table discussions to develop a better understanding of all stakeholders in the industry about sustainable apparel production aiming to a collected role of all stakeholders for green, innovative garment manufacturing centers in Bangladesh.
These roundtables will be attended by large industry partners, including government officials, representatives from large, medium and small manufacturing facilities, research firms, sustainability publicity companies and other national-international interest groups.
The two roundtables will focus separately on promoting the conservation of water and promoting ethical procurement practices, centered on the garment manufacturing industry. More than 50 speakers from Bangladesh and abroad will share their expert opinions in five-panel discussions during the forum
The Sustainable Apparel Forum (SAF) and Bangladesh Denim Expo present a platform titled ‘Sustainability Agenda’ in Bangladesh’s textile and apparel supply chain. The forum was held for the first time on May 17-18, 2017.
“Not a sustainable option but a necessity for the garment industry. So, the goal of SAF is to accelerate the pace of sustainability and start negotiations for that goal,” said Mostafiz Uddin, founder and CEO of Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE).
The Netherlands ambassador to Bangladesh, Harry Verweij, said that due to the fact that there is a real possibility of a sustainable apparel sector in the country, the eyes of the world will be on Bangladesh in the coming years.
“No one wants to buy children’s products or products that seriously harm the environment. People expect products to be encouraged with responsibility. People think they have a right to a fair product produced without human rights abuses and environmental harm,” he said.
Harry Verweij said that the fashion industry is not only committed, it is time to show the determination and ability to sustain the supply chain by reducing carbon emissions, increasing public awareness about climate change and reducing environmental impact.
He said that 2020 would be a transitional year for Bangladesh as the Accord was supposed to leave the country and there would be a RMG sustainable council arrangement to protect the garment sector.
Harry Verweij added, “We want Bangladesh to become Asian tiger.”
Ziaur Rahman, Country Director of Swedish retail giant H&M, said, “Bangladesh’s RMG business has great potential in the near future as consumption of garments worldwide will increase by 65 percent worldwide by 2030.”
He identified environmental pollution as a very big challenge for the industry.
Ziaur said that his company has already asked all its suppliers and manufacturers to be more aware of the sustainability of the fashion business.
“Not only is the environment sustainable for me, it’s more about maintaining a sustainable factory, labor practices and of course maintaining a sustainable environment and becoming a customer,” said BGMEA President Rubana Huq.
Bangladesh has set up many world-class green factories without the management of a buyer, but they have built them only for sustainable business and environment.