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Sustainable approach requires for garment industry in post-COVID-19 world

The COVID-19 pandemic-stricken world is shifting fast from many years of prejudiced practices – in many cases unsustainable habits – and last but not least is one of the most polluted and buyer dominant fashion industry.

The Coronavirus has severely exposed clothing brands and retailers. To diminish this vulnerability, future fashion models must ensure more concentrated value-added product-based and a good portion of steak for all the parties. It will also encourage the re-localization of sustainable supply chains.

Businesses are moving online, so are suppliers to sustain in the pandemic.

On that point, Dr. Rubana Huq, President, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said, “If we want to make a sustainable textile and apparel industry, we should transform more into online marketing as every consumer buying habit is changing rapidly into online buying habits.”

Figure: Dr. Rubana Huq, President,BGMEA
Figure: Dr. Rubana Huq, President,BGMEA

She further expressed, “Now we will move to a virtual market place means Business to consumer (B2C) idea. BGMEA is working on it. Besides, it needs policy support from the government. It is challenging for us, but if we make this platform it will be branding for us.”

The COVID-19 is also given rise to functional clothing. For example, medical workers, law enforcement agencies and consumers are on the treasure hunt for protective clothing i.e. clothing with functional properties to protect wearers. Bangladesh’s apparel sector has not moved significantly towards value-added functional clothing.

“We make five basic readymade garments (RMG) products but it is high-time to make value-added products. Besides we should move sector diversification. And meditex, healthtex apparel demand will be increased at a prodigious level.”

One of the core deficiencies we have is that our 74% primary textile sector is cotton fiber-based. Whereas manmade fiber production will be the game-changer, Huq added.

So, after Post Pandemic, we need-

The COVID-19 outbreak is having a far-reaching effect on businesses in almost every part of the world. Globally, demand for apparel is shrinking and 99% of apparel factories need to operate their operation in compact capacity.

Rubana Huq depicted another harsh reality of the buyer dominating the fashion industry. “In the midst of this global crisis buyers canceled orders or unlawfully demanded discounts and some even halted payments.”

“They said they will pay later, but they are not clearing the payment terms so that we can go for partial payment from total cancellation.”

Rubana Huq shared her these opinions at a recent press conference while Textile Today reporter asked her about the new look of the fashion industry in the post-COVID-19 world and necessary sustainable approach.

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