Sustainable materials (raw, accessories, fabrics, dyes & chemicals, etc.) sourcing is always a challenge. It has a direct effect on lead-time. The geographical position of Bangladesh is an issue for the readymade garments (RMG) industry, also, the material sourcing problem makes it bitter. Corona pandemic created a demand for shorter lead-time–a reason to turn down Bangladesh’s apparel export.
On this aspect, Md Jashim Uddin, Business Head, Care Chemicals, BASF Bangladesh Ltd. shared his views on how can material sourcing be sustainable? Should the investors invest here? How can the govt. facilitate this sector to grow further?
The fashion industry, a multibillion-dollar global enterprise devoted to the business of making and selling clothes. Frequent changes in fashion choices and trends have increased the buyer demand, causing a requirement of shorter Lead time and to keep up with the market.
Fast fashion apparel is time-sensitive and follows a very tight timeline and meeting the deadline is important than ever. During the COVID-19 period, this issue has become prevailing. It is of high importance to maintain a steady streamline of backward integration of all raw materials linked with the apparel industry.
But due to source vulnerability, it has become a pressing need to enhance or build up local capacity, supported by local entrepreneurs, investors and as well as support from the government.
Mostly cotton and other fibers are import base. We are adding value from yarn manufacturing to finished products. But we do not have enough capacity in terms of backward linkage industries, like dyes and specialty chemical industries. These industries require support from the government in the tax and duty benefits for local production units.
Other important issues are technical capacity buildup and investment required by enterprisers as these solutions can certainly provide more competitiveness as far as the Fast fashion industry is concerned. In Bangladesh, the Auxiliary chemicals manufacturers are now importing raw materials and started re-formulating according to customer demand and functional requirements.
This initiative is helping the industries to run with minimum raw materials inventory, reduces the challenge of MOQ, and more importantly, ensures all products needed for the wet process are readily available. Which will help the reduction of costs by getting raw materials Just in Time.
With the global pandemic COVID-19, the sourcing became more challenging and expensive with the development of weekly based demand at the customer’s end. As of present, scarcity of shipping space has risen, and the cost has been increased four times compared to the previous year.
Again, in this context, as users, we are importing 40% volume of inert materials (Water to be specific) which adds import space cost and additional inventory cost. These issues can be eventually mitigated if and only if through local capacity build-up; which will address not only the shipment issues & delayed lead time but also will help reduce the additional cost.
Finally, the focus area would be “Made in Bangladesh; for Bangladesh & Global market”.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Textile Today.