Garment factories in Bangladesh must continue to invest in making their operations more sustainable if they hope to win business over other major competitor sourcing destinations such as Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
In line with this, the country is looking to increase its garment exports from US$34bn in the financial year ending June 2019 to US$50bn in 2021.
In 2018, 67 factories had adopted the United States Coast Guard’s (USCG) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, which evaluates sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy, indoor environment and innovation. Eight were LEED-platinum certified. But with eco-credentials playing a greater role in how consumers today shop, more factories need to get on board.
Hannah Abdulla, apparel correspondent at GlobalData, said: “Bangladesh factory owners are growing increasingly concerned they are losing business to competitor sourcing countries. Where buyers were previously concerned with mass-produced, cheap goods, the focus is now on better quality and sustainably sourced (value-added) items. Green factories have an edge; this is what helps sets them apart from the competition.”
With Bangladesh looking to increase the investments, big changes need to be made to secure additional business from the higher-paying customer.
Ms Abdulla continued: “While change has happened at several factories, this needs to be scaled up. More factories need to get on board if Bangladesh is going to convince global players it remains a worthy contender in the readymade garment space. For the national industry to be viewed as one that is an environmentally-sustainable apparel sector with an international reputation for good practice, it needs to move beyond a minority of factories implementing sustainable measures.”