Globally, leading apparel manufacturers are coming up with much needed functional solutions. Bangladesh, the second-largest apparel contributor in the world which mostly makes Fast Fashion products, has started to move to Functional Fashion drastically. For the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the world is moving to functional fashion and protective clothing is now the most necessary item for the whole world.
To fight the pandemic, the increasing demand for protective clothing i.e. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), surgical mask, hand gloves, etc. encourages Bangladesh apparel factories to engage heavily to produce protective clothing.
After the first confirmation of Coronavirus COVID-19 in Bangladesh doctors and nurses are more exposed to this virus and the necessity of safety gears comes first. To meet up the local demand five garment factories started producing PPE under a joint initiative of Pay It Forward, non-profitable foundation People for People, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the Marks & Spencer, the Arunachal Trust, and the BUET Alumni Association. The five garment factories are: Urmi Group, Snowtex, Aman Group, Dekko Group, and Smartex Group.
Later on, Bangladesh has started exploring destinations for exporting globally-certified PPE in a bid to help the world fight against the novel coronavirus. Bangladesh’s leading business giant, Beximco Group has achieved a new milestone by exporting 6.5 million PPE gowns to US brand Hanes. By this milestone, Bangladesh has joined a select group of nations that manufacture topnotch PPE on a significant level.
Beximco Group plans to establish a joint venture (JV) factory in Detroit to produce masks. Also the company is building an industrial park to produce PPEs.
Rose Garden Apparels Ltd, Cute Dress Industry Ltd, Esquire Knit Composite Ltd, Team Group, Genetic Fashions Ltd, TRZ Garments Industry Ltd., Debonair group, Horizon Group are producing PPE for direct export.
Now huge volumes of orders for PPE and mask orders are coming in Bangladesh. Four countries have already sent demand letters to Bangladesh for sourcing high-quality PPE. These countries are the USA, Kuwait, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
Rose Garden Apparels Ltd got projections of around 6 lacs pcs for the Brazil market only, whereas Esquire Knit Composite Ltd has already received 1 crore 80 lack pieces of masks order from USA buyer Hansebrand Inc. (HBI).
In collaboration with Zaber and Zubair (ZnZ) Fabrics Limited and APS Group have developed an antiviral and anti-bacterial knit fabric mask which achieved a virus reduction of over 99.9%.
Hasib Uddin, Chairman APS Group said that initially they are targeting the European market and with their existing facility they can produce 15k-20k masks daily but it will be enlarged further.
Zaber and Zubair (ZnZ) Fabrics Limited also launched a specially treated woven fabric on 14 May 2020 at their Dhaka office namely ‘Corona Block Fabric’ to fight COVID-19. Already many USA and EU buyers have exposed their interest in the product.
A big change in the post-pandemic fashion is eminent. From cheap fashionable apparel, consumers’ perception about fashion is moving towards with functional properties that encouraged Bangladesh to enter global protective clothing market.