The ready-made garment industry of Bangladesh is strongly focusing on the transition towards circular economy to pursue growth in a more sustainable and stay competitive in the long run, said Faruque Hassan, President of BGMEA.
Switching to circular economy practices is a huge task that requires collective efforts from all stakeholders including the government, policymakers, development partners, brands, and suppliers, he said.
“The circular economy can build a pathway for greater environmental sustainability coupled with economic growth,” he observed.
Faruque Hassan made the remarks when speaking at a stakeholders’ roundtable on a topic titled “SWITCH to a circular economy for the textile value chain, Bangladesh” held in Dhaka on February 28.
SWITCH to Circular Economy Value Chains (SWITCH2CE) is an international development project co-funded by the European Union and the Government of Finland, which aims to support enterprises in the textile and garments, plastic packaging, and ICT value chains to adopt circular economy practices.
Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh H. E. Mr. Charles Whiteley attended the event as chief guest.
BGMEA Vice President Mr. Miran Ali; Director Barrister Vidiya Amrit Khan; President of Nordic Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Bangladesh (NCCI) Tahrin Aman; UNIDO Representative Zaki Uz Zaman PhD, Head of Material Innovation and Strategy at H&M Ms. Gagan Bansal, Chatham House representative Patrick Schroeder, and DG-WTO cell and Additional Secretary at the Ministry of Commerce Mr. Hafizur Rahman also spoke at the roundtable which was moderated by Mr. Mark Draeck, CTA, UNIDO.
In his speech as a special guest, BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said the textile industry is considered one of the very polluting and resource-heavy industries and therefore it is imperative to reduce the negative environmental impacts of the industry.
He said, “While we move towards a circular economy, the skills and efficiencies of our industries have to continue to improve, to be competitive in the global marketplace.”
“The RMG industry of Bangladesh has been proactively addressing the global demand for sustainable and emission-free products. So far Bangladesh has the highest number of USGBC Certified LEED green garment factories in the world, with 192 LEED Green Factories of which 67 are platinum rated, and with 550+ factories in the process of being certified. This number is increasing,” he further said.
BGMEA, Global Fashion Agenda (GFA), Reverse Resources, and P4G have already partnered in an initiative “Circular Fashion Partnership” that aims to achieve a long-term, scalable transition to a circular fashion system, he said.
Over 30 renowned fashion brands, manufacturers and recyclers are collaborating in the new initiative to capture and reuse textile waste in Bangladesh.