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8 November, 2018 01:47:35 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 8 November, 2018 01:47:54 AM


Bangladesh eyes high-end denim products

2-day 9th edition of denim expo begins in capital
Sharif Ahmed, Dhaka
Bangladesh eyes high-end denim products
Visitors check out jeans on the first day of the Bangladesh Denim Expo at the International at the International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB) in Dhaka yesterday. photo: courtesy

Bangladesh is known for producing basic denim products, but the scenario in this field is changing fast. At present, the country manufactures high-end products including multi-fibre fabrics, mash-up jeans and bi-stretch denim.

“Manufacturing of denim products has picked up pace.

Investors are setting up facilities with sophisticated technologies to produce high-end products," said Mohiuddin Rubel, managing director of the Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE).

“Currently, we're producing high-range products that cost around USD 10–14. Our production capacity is 3.5 lakh pieces of jeans a month. But we expect to produce four lakh pieces from the next year. There is a huge demand from local fabric producers and foreigners as well,” he added.

Bangladesh now makes basic and premium-quality denim products like comfort-stretch denim, multi-fibre super stretch denim, multi-fibre light denim, warp-stretch denim and coated denim for the most discerning customers around the world, say industry people.

“Bangladesh is placed second in the world for exporting denim products. So, we're producing more high-value products that meet international standards to grab a greater share of the global denim market,” Rubel said.

The two-day 9th edition of the Bangladesh Denim Expo, an international exposition of denim products, began at the International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB) in Dhaka yesterday.   

The mega exposition was displaying the latest trends in denim products to global brands and retailers as well as Bangladeshi manufacturers.

Bangladesh’s denim shares in the EU and the US in 2014 were 22.88 per cent and 11.35 per cent respectively, while the annual average growth of Bangladesh’s denim exports during 2010–15 was 9.73 per cent, according to industry insiders.

To increase the global market share, manufacturers here are investing more on modern technologies. However, everyone cannot afford the state-of-the-art technology.

Citing an example, Rubel, who is also the director of Denim Expert Ltd, said the heather-cutting machine used for producing denim products is pretty expensive and unaffordable for most businesses.  

Each of these machines costs approximately USD 200,000–300,000, he added.

“More than two decades ago, Bangladesh was the only country to produce basic denim products. But now, our capacity has increased by about 10–15 per cent each year towards producing high-end products,” he said.

When asked about the challenges, Rubel said: “We import quality fabrics and then process them into finished products. We should try to reduce the dependence on importing raw materials.”

Pointing to another challenge, Rubel said, “As new machinery will fill most of the market, our workers should be made equipped to operate those machines.”

Bangladesh has done tremendously well in research and product development, fabrics and washing. A high-end denim product is not priced less than USD4–6, say industry insiders.

A total of 62 Exhibitors from around the world have participated in the expo, which is expected to attract the highest number of international visitors. The theme of this edition—‘Simplicity’—is aimed at providing a much simpler definition to understand sustainability and ecology with regard to denim.

The Bangladesh Denim Expo is an international exposition dedicated to promoting Bangladesh’s denim and showcasing the country’s strength and capacity in denim manufacturing.

Talking to The Independent, Sayeed Ahmad Chowdhury general manager (operation) of Square Denims Ltd said that the business is definitely growing and we are producing around 3 million yards of quality fabrics per month.

Expressing one reason, he pointed out and said that the product price has increased in China so the buyers are moving and searching for other sourcing hubs and Bangladesh could be one of them.

When asked about the demand, he said, Bangladesh has 70-80 million yards of fabric per month where 70-80 per cent are locally met.           

The expo also focuses on how to make things simpler to understand buyer demands, how to prepare for and negotiate them, and how the country’s denim industry can benefit from greater simplicity.

“The underlying concept of the Bangladesh Denim Expo is to fulfil the needs of the international denim community. It offers the opportunity to establish new contacts with potential buyers, discover new products and to gain a comprehensive overview of the latest developments in the Bangladesh denim industry," said Rubel.

“In the global denim market, simplicity is now the ultimate sophistication. So, in this edition, the Bangladesh Denim Expo will try to give a much simpler message about sustainability and ecology in denim,” he added.




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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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