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15 June 2024

Collaboration will be a key for progress: Nanak

Messenger Online

Published: 15:55, 11 June 2024

Collaboration will be a key for progress: Nanak

Photo: Collected 

Textiles and Jute Minister Jahangir Kabir Nanak on Tuesday (11 June) said Bangladesh apparel industry has come a long way in terms of sustainability and collaboration will be a key for circularity and further progress.

“For the development of our country, we largely depend on the apparel and textile industry,” he said while speaking as the chief guest at the second Bangladesh Circular Economy Summit in Dhaka.

Nanak said there have been tremendous safety improvements in the industry and the country's apparel industry is taking a lead in responsible business.

“While we are going forward, we need to ensure it is sustainable. Collaboration will be a key for circularity and progress,” he said, adding, “We have only one earth. It is our responsibility to protect it also for our future generation. We have to ensure optimum use of our resources.”

Fashion industry leaders, organizations, and government representatives came together for the 2nd Bangladesh Circular Economy Summit in Dhaka to exchange insights and expertise aimed at advancing circularity within the apparel and textiles sector in Bangladesh.

The Summit, organized by the Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE) in collaboration with German development cooperation agency GIZ and in association with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bangladesh at a Dhaka hotel, spotlighted the importance and ways of transitioning from a linear economic model to one that prioritizes resource efficiency and waste reduction.

The discussions and engagement at the summit aimed at propelling the transition from a linear to a circular model in Bangladesh’s apparel and textile industries.

The summit began with an inaugural ceremony, followed by four insightful plenary sessions, three engaging panel discussions, and an innovative breakout session.

Through these platforms, participants explored strategies to accelerate the adoption of circular practices within Bangladesh’s apparel and textile industries.

Speaking at the summit, former BGMEA President Siddiqur Rahman said collaboration between brands and manufacturers is very important to promote the circular fashion. “We are your partners. I'm requesting all the brands; please increase your price a little.  Otherwise, we cannot survive."

He said Bangladesh has come a long way in circularity and sustainability but the journey of the industry was not smooth.

“We overcame every challenge. Our industries maintain the highest standards. The apparel entrepreneurs are adopting sustainable practices and there are more than 200 certified green garments and more 500 are awaiting certifications,” he said.

The former BGMEA leader said Bangladesh is also focusing on a circular economy by reducing materials use and focusing more on recycling. “We require support from the developed countries for know-how and technology sharing on circularity. Bangladesh is a sustainable and reliable partner."

Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bangladesh Thijs Woudstra said, “To move one step forward towards circularity, we need to extensively and contextualize the ways to integrate robust visibility systems throughout the supply chain. This will ensure the formation and quality of materials, meeting the regulations and consumer demand for increased transparency from environmental factors.”

The diplomat said the garments industry of Bangladesh is a powerhouse. “By working together, we can unlock the potential of circularity in the economy.”

Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Germany in Bangladesh Jan Janowski said it is high time for Bangladesh to think about more ambitious reforms.

Certainly, he said, businesses are often leading the way as pioneers in different sectors. But of course, institutions, governments, and cities also play a very crucial role in creating and enabling the conditions for a circular economy.

“They can set the direction and they can also be the drivers of innovation and investment. Investing in sustainable production of the circular industries is not only a responsible business decision but also a strategic one that can position Bangladesh further as a leader in sustainable manufacturing and enable industries to play in the global marketplace including Germany and EU,” said the diplomat.

He said the circular economy tackles one of the greatest challenges in the world - climate change.

Thankfully, he said, in Bangladesh there are many wonderful and positive initiatives being taken in terms of circularity.

“For Bangladesh, the focus has to be on RMG and I am happy to see many of you are here working on that. I am happy that this event today focused on the challenges in circularity.”

Founder & CEO, Bangladesh Apparel Exchange Mostafiz Uddin said in 2016, it was the first time he wanted to do a study on waste percentage, and it was so difficult to find out the waste percentage in Bangladesh.

“But now everyone knows what the waste percentage in Bangladesh is. And it makes me so proud. The Bangladesh apparel industry has come so far that you can see that day by day we are improving more and more,” he said.

“I would ask all of you to please cooperate. Please join this movement, and one day you will see how Bangladesh becomes a leader in sustainability and circularity,” Mostafiz said.

He said the government, private sectors, partners, and all stakeholders are working hard towards a shared vision.

“The change starts from you and me. We all have a big role to achieve a collective vision for Bangladesh,” said Mostafiz.