The garment wash is a new technology in the garment trade. Normally washing means cleaning something, however, in the garment trade, only cleaning of garments is not the garment wash. Garment washing is a technology, which is applied to change or modify the outlook, appearance, comfortability, and design of garments. Garment washing is applied on solidly dyed garments or solid printed fabric. Bangladesh garments washing industry established in late 90’s and now there are more than 5000 garments washing plant in Bangladesh. Bangladesh Garments Washing Technologist Federation (BGWTF) was established in 2009 to drive the innovation of Bangladesh garments washing industry. It is dedicated to the development for the industry and it is planning to establish a specialized institute for garments washing technology.
BGWTF Founder President and Assistant General Manager of Sterling Laundry Limited Md. Mehedi Hasan gave an interview with the Textile Today’s Industry Correspondent Md. Masudur Rahman. The report is created based on their discussion.
Bangladesh garments washing sector
“Abundance of fresh water is the main catalyst to establish garments washing plant in Bangladesh. However supply of gas and electricity form government and cheap labor are also spurred entrepreneur and investors joining this division,” said Mr. Mehedi.
In the very beginning of this sector, textile technologist did not pay much attention to the washing sector seeming that it just a laborious laundry work. So since its inception, foreign experts from Turkey, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India got engaged in this sector and taught our people washing technologies. Very few local textile technologists are involved in this sector so the majority of the manpower was non-specialized. “Since 2005 specialized textile individuals began to join the washing sector, from then the industry got a huge acceleration and now became fast growing and value adding industry,” Mr. Mehedi added.
“Day by day our local textile engineers gathered experience and now they are running numerous washing project successfully. Most of the wash technicians in the buying house are Bangladeshi, gradually we are replacing foreign experts with our capabilities,” he explained.
Garments washing is the sector where innovation is a must. A washed product could add 100 times more profit than ordinary product. “The common practice of Bangladesh is to copy buyer’s module, but it will not help us become competitive. It is high time to concentrate on own development. While few factories are developing their own development but others are lag behind it,” said Mr. Mehedi.
BGWTF inspires Bangladeshi manufacturers to work for their own development. Each year it organizes an exhibition where factories get an opportunity to exhibit their own development. Last year more than 60 new developments were submitted from them while three of them got rewarded.
“Washing plants should put more emphasis on R&D. Dedicated washing technologists, fashion designers, lab support is must to bring innovation to the factory,” Mr. Mehedi emphasized.
BGWTF, a dedicated name for the garments washing industry
BGWTF started its journey from 2009 as a non- profit, non- political charitable foundation. The mission of this foundation is to share technical solution regarding garments washing and to help the members through charitable activities.
Mr. Mehedi explained how to solve the washing technical problem. “We have a group in social media where members upload the garments body image and specification and indicate the problem they are facing. Our experts analyze the problems and give solutions. Members could also contact the experts for further assistant.”
BGWTF also arranges technical training for the members and for the manpower to sharpen their knowledge. They also arrange training for the chemical use and safety for the workers. “Garments washing consumes a vast amount of chemical. If the workers are not aware about the chemical using methods and its effect they will suffer from fatal diseases including cancer,” said Mr. Mehedi.
The foundation also provides a financial fund to help the members in their needs. “When Rana Plaza collapsed we responded, we responded while our members got hospitalized,” Mr. Mehedi added.
Each year on 1 May, BGWTF arranges an annual general meeting where a roundtable discussion panel is arranged on washing technical issue and also exhibits factory’s own wash development.