Recently, Dekko Accessories Limited and Agami Accessories Limited (both are the concern of Dekko Group) have obtained the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certificate from the US Green Building Council (USGBC).
LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system. After obtaining this prestigious Platinum Certificate, Dekko Accessories and Agami Accessories became the only accessories factory globally to acclaim this certificate. And one of the top 10 green factories in the globe.
A detailed review of the USGBC analysis of all program data showed that the organizations met the requirements and earned a total of 87 LEED points for certification. The LEED certificate demonstrates the sustainability and sustainable development of Dekko and Agami Accessories.
Dekko is one of the largest accessories manufacturers in Bangladesh with a complete and comprehensive product range. From metal buttons to packaging – they manufacture all types of accessories products. Having said that, Dekko Accessories Ltd. and Agami Accessories Ltd. produce high-quality products for almost all the big buyers and supply to a good number of factories in Bangladesh.
Mohammad Abdur Rouf, Executive Director, Dekko Accessories Limited is a customer-centered, results-driven leader with 19+ years of experience in overall business operations of large-scale fast-fashion chain retail, garments and accessories manufacturing, FnB operations and service operator business operations management from the top.
Abdur Rouf is leading the Dekko Accessories Ltd and Agami Accessories Ltd. accessories concerns of Dekko Legacy Group since March 2017 as Executive Director. Recently, he has extensively discussed the certification journey with Textile Today. Here are the highlighting part for the readers.
Textile Today: As we know the backward linkage, comprising the accessories sub-sector, was dependent on the foreign suppliers. How could you ease the supply chain of the textile and apparel (T&A) Industry?
Abdur Rouf: Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the buyers and retailers preferred global reach and capability. But since the pandemic, it is apparent that local manufacturers will gain superiority, as it significantly reduces lead-time.
Bangladesh’s backward linkage industry usually sources – I would say more than 80% – most of the products/raw materials from China which is a great hindrance for our RMG industry.
Which is why sourcing raw materials locally and enhancing the local ability of backward linkage is paramount to survive in the long run.
Textile Today: What were the background commitments behind getting awarded the only LEED-certified accessories company in the world?
Abdur Rouf: To achieve the USGBC (LEED) EB O+M v3 Platinum Certification, Dekko Accessories Ltd and Agami Accessories Ltd ensured every sustainable measures.
From various sustainable measures to processes, minimizing consumption holistically and most importantly, ensuring a healthy and safe workplace for the workers, staff – led to this certificate.
Here are the Project Sustainability (Operation and Maintenance) Milestone Achievements list we’ve ensured.
- Conventional transportation reduction 84.02%
- Capture and treat water from 27.5% of the impervious surfaces
- Stormwater quantity control 100%
- Heat island reduction 100%
- Light pollution reduction
- Potable water savings 59.70%
- Outdoor water savings 44%
- Energy savings 45.45%
- Rainwater preserving and harvest
- Sustainable purchasing policy
- Local food production
- Existing building commissioning-implementation
- Ongoing consumables waste diverted 75.96%
- Durable goods waste diverted 59.92%
- Enhanced refrigerant management
- Indoor air quality best management practices
- Green cleaning policy
- Green education policy
- Social equity & employee welfares
Besides, Agami Accessories Limited also achieved other certificates and audits include Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) by Peterson Projects B.V. (“Peterson”) which is a sustainability consulting firm based in the Netherlands, Global Recycled Standard (GRS), Recycled Claimed Standard (RCS).
Besides achieving LEED Platinum, Dekko Accessories Limited has also achieved Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), OEKOTEX, Recycled Claimed Standard (RCS), Amfori BSCI, SEDEX, HIGG FEM, FSC, Mallow 100 Club, TQP, Better Cotton Initiative (BCI).
One of Dekko’s top priorities is ensuring a safe and comfortable workplace for its workers. So, they feel comfortable and safe working here.
From the beginning of the journey, Dekko Accessories focuses on sustainability. Even though the commitment to the environment has no monetary value but it requires additional investment to recycle the materials or make them environment-friendly. Dekko is working for sustainability from its loyalty mindset.
Textile Today: What motivation did prompt you to drive for such an environment-friendly enterprise?
Abdur Rouf: As the world is facing an acute crisis of indiscriminate dumping of apparel, chemicals, etc. and the call for reduction, reuse and recycle to ensure a sustainable livable planet is growing than ever before. Dekko Accessories is leading from the front by reusing materials like aluminum, copper, polyester and preventing them from ending up in landfills.
Dekko Button unit registered that a minimum of 20% of polyester materials found leftover as wastage from each batch. In general, the wastage is being destroyed by burning which is injurious for the environment because of its toxic fume. So, waste management has become an essential task for the Dekko Button to save the environment and to keep the promise of sustainability.
We are manufacturing buttons from the wastage materials that are sold as recycle buttons to our valued customers. Making a recycle button is costly but from our sustainable commitment, we are making this button a special product.
Dekko Accessories is using natural elements in their production process to make the product more environmentally friendly and to give a natural look. The natural elements – which are available everywhere – can give an astonishing finished look on the metallic buttons. Dekko’s R&D team with a prolonged experiment invented the ingredients for a polished finishing process.
Textile Today: What challenges did you undertake to attain the certification in different compliance parameters? How did your internal people perceive your green initiatives?
Abdur Rouf: Since my joining 4 years back, I have pinpointed the compliance issues first and worked hard to make them sustainable. In Bangladesh, in many cases, spending in compliance is regarded as a luxury. I sat and discussed with my team whenever they asked that “sir this expenditure seems unnecessary,” and changed their mindset.
Besides, a lot of infrastructural change was needed that involves a lot of costs which was a big challenge for us.
As a visionary RMG leader, I thought comprehensively and gave maximum effort to ensure these measures. As I can look into the future to devise comprehensive plans to survive and sustain in this business.
End of the day, a world-class factory facility means that our workers get a comfortable working environment. I always keep my workers happy. This is very important if you want to achieve a target. In our case, we passed the motto of being green to our entire team of employees.
In addition, I would like thanks to Ananta Ahmed, faculty member of USGBC and Managing Director of 360 Total Solutions Limited (TSL) for consulting this LEED project to achieve such a milestone.
Textile Today: Amid this global pandemic, how viable it is to be environmentally sustainable, at the same time economically sustainable?
Abdur Rouf: As I said, above the apparel supply chain in this global pandemic is becoming more localized. Where buyers and retailers will demand more sustainable measures from local manufacturers. And non-compliant factories will not be viable in the long run. This is where being sustainable and LEED Certification comes to play.
Not only that, apparel buyers are more and more into one-stop-service with high-quality, comprehensive garment accessories product range.
So, the investment we have made to attain LEED Platinum Certification will be achievable in the coming years.
Textile Today: Instead of going to other product garment related products range, Dekko and Agami focused on accessories. It was a groundbreaking decision. How is Dekko pursuing it?
Abdur Rouf: We are focusing on creating a comprehensive garment accessories product range. In light of easing the supply chain of textile and apparel, and providing top-quality products in less time than China, Dekko is putting all its efforts. Chinese manufacturers do not bother about compliance, whereas, we ensure a full-proof sustainable measure.
From concept to design, R&D to finishing – Dekko is doing everything locally. Besides, to reduce lead-time we needed to increase capacity by more than double. We have doubled Agami’s metal manufacturing capacity, paper packaging capacity, plastic button capacity, woven label capacity, to name a few.
Big buyers are dominating all the products. Here, accessories with higher capacity and compliance will get the order.
We have a plan to produce more value-added apparel accessories items, aiming to make all kinds of accessories items in future.