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Production of lingerie items increasing to explore the market potentials

Rising global demands and cost of production in China have been encouraging local apparel makers to diversify their products focus and investment in making the value-added items especially lingerie, industry people said.

Production of lingerie items Bangladesh
Figure 1: Export of lingerie items is growing gradually and some of the Bangladeshi makers have already invested a huge amount of money while some others are planning to produce the items.

Lingerie that has now become one of the billion-dollar foreign currency earning items, has immense export potentials in the coming days, they said adding a number of factories have expanded their business in the segment.

During July-January period of the current fiscal year of 2018-19, the women’s innerwear and nightwear exports increased by 20.04% to $792.05 billion which was $659.84 million in the corresponding period of last fiscal, according to official data.

In fiscal year (FY) 2017-18, the export earnings from lingerie stood at $1.15 billion, up 7.84% from the previous fiscal year.

The earnings were $1.07 billion in FY 2016-17, according to the Export Promotion Bureau (EBP) data.

BD’s Major Lingerie Items Export to world

Source: EPB

Products July – Jan

(Value in Million USD)

Growth

2017-18 2018-19
Brassieres of textile materials, whether or not knitted or crocheted 220.35 276.80 25.61%
Briefs & panties, knitted or crocheted, of cotton 200.22 226.77 13.26%
Nightdresses & pajamas, knitted or crocheted, of cotton 107.85 116.10 7.66%
Briefs & panties, knitted or crocheted, of man-made fibers 49.50 63.15 27.57%
Nightdresses & pajamas, knitted or crocheted, of man-made fibers 24.27 31.02 27.83%
Briefs & panties, knitted or crocheted, of textile materials, n.e.s. 19.71 22.23 12.83%
Slips & petticoats, knitted or crocheted, of man-made fibers 12.79 20.90 63.41%
Negligees, bathrobes, dressing gowns & similar articles, knitted or crocheted, of man-made fibers 8.48 15.72 85.35%
Negligees, bathrobes, dressing gowns & similar articles, knitted or crocheted, of cotton 11.32 9.09 -19.78%
Corsets, braces, suspenders, garters & similar articles & parts thereof, of textile materials, whether or not knitted or crocheted 2.89 3.61 24.78%
Nightdresses & pajamas, knitted or crocheted, of textile materials 0.95 2.42 154.48%
Girdles & panty-girdles, of textile materials, whether or not knitted or crocheted 1.18 2.11 79.07%
Slips & petticoats, knitted or crocheted, of textile materials 0.13 1.05 734.23%
Negligees, bathrobes, dressing gowns & similar articles, knitted or crocheted, of textile materials 0.10 0.68 599.21%
Corselets of textile materials, whether or not knitted or crocheted 0.11 0.42 290.87%
Total                      659.84 792.05 20.04%

Terming lingerie a complicated and technical product, a merchandiser of a Narayanganj based factory said lingerie needs a sophisticated design with right fabric and tailoring to yield a good and satisfactory fit.

The company located in Adamjee Export Processing Zone at Narayanganj has 99 lines to produce lingerie items.

Despite having the right expertise, the cost of production has been shooting up in China, he said adding as local entrepreneurs have already demonstrated their expertise in the segment in the last one decade, buyers are now showing interest to source such items from Bangladesh.

Besides, buyers who have already been sourcing other garment items now want Bangladesh to produce lingerie, he explained.

The Knit Concern is another specialized production facility of lingerie item. Equipped with 330 specialized brand machines, the company can produce about 25,000 pieces of lingerie a day, according to its officials.

Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) former president Fazlul Hoque said the demand for lingerie items has been increasing day by day.

“We have to go for value-added items for long term sustainability at a time when we are not getting fair prices of apparels and lingerie is one of them,” he added.

BD producing lingerie
Figure 2: Apex Lingerie Limited (ALL) is a fully vertical setup specializing in the production of the high-quality brassiere and brassiere-panty sets. Courtesy: Apex Lingerie Limited

Only five major items—trousers, t-shirts, jackets, sweaters, and shirts – accounted for nearly 75% of the total $30.66 billion export earnings, according to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

MA Rahim Vice President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said the export of lingerie items is growing gradually and some of the local makers have already invested a huge amount of money while some others are planning to produce the items.

MA Rahim also the Managing Director Dulal Brothers Ltd, a sister concern of DBL Group said they have also started production of lingerie items though small in quantity to explore the market potentials.

He expressed hope that export will rise further as buyers are shifting their dependency from China following the trade war between China and the US.

A local official at a US-based buyer said lingerie items exports are increasing from Bangladesh as they are now diverting some of their orders from China followed by the trade war between the two countries.

So far Bangladesh is producing the basic lingerie items and mostly cotton based, he added.

Exporters also echoed the buyer’s representative’s and opined that followed by the US-China trade war, export orders are coming to Bangladesh so the work orders of lingerie items.

Exporters said Bangladeshi made lingerie items ranged from basic to medium value-added ones.

Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) former President Fazlul Hoque said, “We have to go for value-added items for long term sustainability and there is no alternative of it.”

“We are not getting fair prices of apparels and lingerie is one of the emerging and potential items that can add more value, he added.

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