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Exhibition Status Update!

With 3 weeks until SHOWTIME, the 20th Anniversary edition welcomes an All-Star cast of new and returning exhibitors, making up the largest DOMOTEX asia/CHINAFLOOR to date. Due to high demand in all product...

Global designers to exhibit at Luxury Br…

Designers from Europe, Middle East and North America will exhibit at the upcoming Luxury Brands Carpet Show. The second edition of the curated Luxury Brands exhibition and designer carpet collection is scheduled to...

H&M to dress Swedish teams for Olymp…

Hennes and Mauritz Group (H&M) will dress the Swedish teams for the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in PyeongChang 2018. The company will create outfits for the opening and closing ceremonies. The collection will...

Saurer to show Allma TechnoCorder TC2 at…

Saurer Technologies GmbH & Co. KG Twisting Solutions, a leading provider of energy efficient solutions for tire cord, carpet, staple, glass filament, and industrial yarns, will present its Allma TechnoCorder TC2 innovative machine...

Cone Denim and Unifi launch S Gene with …

Cone Denim and Unifi have launched the latest in advanced stretch technology - S Gene with Repreve . Combining the advanced stretch technology of S Gene with the superior sustainability and performance of...

Shima Seiki to partake in Premiere Visio…

Leading computerised knitting machine developer, Shima Seiki Mfg., Ltd., is set to participate at the Premiere Vision show, a global event for fashion professionals, to be held in Paris, from February 13 to 15, 2018...

Measurably more productive and econom- i…

Even if the winding machine is only responsible for about 10-15% of the energy consumption (compressed air and electrical energy) when considering the classic ring spinning process, these criteria play an important role...

Wool to dominate at Intertextile Shangha…

Some 3,300 exhibitors from around 20 countries covering all apparel fabrics and accessories product groups are expected at the Spring Edition of the industry’s most comprehensive sourcing platform for the spring/summer season, Intertextile...

Bangla clothing sector needs to improve image to prosper


(Bangladesh)

The clothing industry in Bangladesh needs to improve its image in order for the country’s long-term prosperity to be guaranteed, says global business information company Textiles Intelligence.

The collapse of Rana Plaza in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in April 2013 sent a shockwave through the textile and clothing industry. More than 1,100 lives were lost in the incident, and Bangladesh’s reputation as a reliable low cost location in which to manufacture clothing suffered a severe blow in the eyes of consumers and the major brands. In addition, the industry has received a high level of bad publicity with regard to employment practices.

Retailers and brands are, for good reason, increasingly sensitive about their reputations in the eyes of the media, consumers and lobby groups. It is not surprising therefore that some Western buyers have cancelled orders in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza collapse and placed them elsewhere. Moreover, a number of Bangladeshi factories have been “blacklisted”.

Furthermore, sales in the US import market could be negatively affected following a decision by the US government to suspend Bangladesh’s preferential duty treatment under the USA’s Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) scheme, and Bangladesh’s preferential access to the EU could also be revoked if the Bangladeshi government does not take the necessary steps to significantly improve building safety standards and overall labour conditions in the country.

These issues are made especially acute by the fact that the Bangladeshi economy is heavily dependent on the USA and the EU -- which together take 84% of the country’s total textile and clothing exports.

Bangladesh can ill afford to lose the momentum its clothing industry has built up over the years. However, there is a danger that retailers and consumers will view cheap clothing from Bangladesh as coming at too high a cost in human terms, and that they will prefer other countries where costs are low but where similar tragedies have not occurred -- such as Cambodia and Vietnam.

The threat of shunning Bangladesh’s clothing industry is real but is being eased by a series of initiatives set out by Western retailers, non governmental organisations (NGOs) and a number of apparel unions.

The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) has announced a health and safety plan for Bangladesh’s garment sector while IndustriALL and UNI Global Union have set out an agreement for addressing the issue of fire and building safety in the industry.

The spotlight is being focused in particular on the responsibility of the leading brands and retailers as it is they who source the goods in question and, at the same time, drive down prices so that they can maximise their margins and satisfy consumer demand for cheap clothing.

The brands are in an especially strong position to improve working conditions as they can insist that safety inspections take place and that essential work is carried out to make factories fit to work in.

Governments and major brands need to work together with suppliers to change the apparel industry into one in which there are safe factories, decent wages and respect for workers’ rights.

However, it is important to note that gains will only be sustainable if the added labour costs are absorbed by buyers as well as manufacturers.


Textiles Intelligence

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Middle East Textile Journal

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