Within a shorter span of period, Bangladesh has emerged as a powerful manufacturer of Denim taking the lead in the United States and European market, thanks to new investment and branding to global retailers and brands.
Sector people and economists forecast that Bangladesh will remain as the preferred sourcing destination of denim goods as the country has improved the production capacity and invested a huge amount of money in backward linkage industry.
Bangladesh snatched top position from its competitors in denim exports markets in EU and US and number one exporter.
According to the Commerce Department’s Office of Textiles and Apparel (Otexa) data, Bangladesh earned $798.42 million by exporting denim garments in 2021, recording year-on-year growth of 42.25%.
In 2020, Bangladesh exported denim products of $561.29 million to the US market.
In 2021, Mexico, the second largest exporter of denim to the US, earned $655 million and Vietnam earned $402.49 million.
Bangladesh holds a 21.70 per cent share of denim products in the US, while Mexico and Vietnam hold 17.79 percent and 10.93 percent.
According to Eurostat data, Bangladesh’s denim products exports to the EU rose by 15.18 percent to $1.18 billion in 2021, which was $1 billion in the previous year.
Bangladesh’s share in EU denim market stood at 26.82 percent, while Turkey, the second largest exporter of denim earned $1.13 billion, holds 25.83 percent followed by Pakistan’s share was 17.43 percent and it exported denim products worth $768 million.
“Today’s denim sector is far better than that of the last decade. In the last eight years, Bangladesh Denim Expo worked relentlessly to brand Bangladesh through presenting changes and improvement of the sector to global buyers,” Mostafiz Uddin founder of Bangladesh Denim Expo. .
We brought global denim leaders and experts to help Bangladeshi manufacturers to introduce the latest technology and fashion trends. These contributed a lot to become number one exporters of denim goods in US and EU markets, said Mostafiz, also Managing Director of Denim Expert Limited, a Chittagong based high value denim manufacturer.
On the other hand, investment in backward linkage increased our capacity to execute bulk work orders, he added.
“Currently we are buying about $70 million worth products, of which $20 million is denim products. Annually we import about 1 million pieces. In the past our 75% products were knitwear but now diversifying to woven and denim products” Shafiur Rahman, Regional Operational Manager of G-Star Bangladesh said.
Our products are in the premium segment and here the growth rate is slow. We are expecting that our sourcing from Bangladesh will reach $90 million by next three years, he adds.
On top of that improvement in safety standards to ensure workplace safety is another key factor for the robust growth in denim exports.
“Aftermath of the factory collapse, apparel manufacturers invested huge amounts of money to improvise safety standards to ensure workplace safety,” Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) vice president Shahiduall Azim.
These boosted buyers and brands on Bangladesh as a sourcing destination. As a result, global retailers and brands are coming with an increased volume of work orders, he added.
Talking on the export performance, the exporter opined that Bangladesh will continue to dominate global denim markets as the capacity is increasing gradually.
“It is good news and a matter of pride that we are number one denim exporters. Buyers are placing purchase orders, which are being shipped timely by our exporters,” said Anwar-ul-Alam Chowdhury (Parvez) Chairman and Managing Director, Evince Group.
“We have strong backward linkage and are now able to supply 50-550% of denim fabrics, said Parvez, former president of BGMEA.
In addition, local manufacturers have their own washing facilities and developed studios for design. Our dominance in global denim market will continue in the days to come, he added
Global market for denim jeans was estimated at $64.5 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach a revised size of $76.1 billion by 2026, growing at 4.8 percent annually.
According to Bangladesh Textile Mill Association (BTMA) data, there are 40 denim fabrics manufacturing mills.
As of 2021, the sector made an investment of $1.5 billion and the annual production capacity of the sector stood at 443 million yards against annual demands of 800 million yards denim fabric.