Thanks to work orders garments factories received from foreign companies and brands, Bangladesh's apparel industry is where it finds itself now. But there was an underlying unease about not projecting the country's own ordinary and fashion brands in the international market. Some enterprising people, however, started trying to leave their footmarks on this uncharted pasture well before the new millennium. Others followed a little later. But their focus was limited to a select group of clientele. The good news is that today, a number of entrepreneurs have come forward not only with their own brands but they also have planned to concentrate on the local market on a wider scale. This is a clear indication that these apparel makers will design and sew their own apparel not only for users in this country but also in foreign countries. Their main objective, though, is to brand their own products.
Taking order for supplying apparels according to specifications and with materials according to the buyers' choice may have left some profit for garments manufacturers but the joy of creativity is missing from the exercise. To be the master of the entire process of apparel manufacture is an inherent desire in the bosom of many entrepreneurs. It is time they took the centre stage in branding not just their own products but also the country in general. The process of branding Bangladesh has begun by tentative steps on different fronts, hopefully it will soon gain momentum with creative and energetic young people taking over the productive sectors. Garments factories are now experienced enough to know about the taste, style, trends and innovative addition to fashion wears. They should feel prompted to have access to the high-end market abroad. The selling point, of course, is to maintain quality.
Photographers, short film-makers from Bangladesh have earned fame in the international arena. Artists are also rated high for their creations. This country, moreover, has a tradition of producing the finest ever cloth - muslin -- man has made. Once Bengal's international commerce was 12 per cent of the world's total. And a substantial portion of this was attire-related. Now that the country has become one of the largest importers of cotton, it can be assumed that its textile mills are also busy feeding the garments factories. If the backward linkage of the industry stands on a strong footing, the sector can gain further momentum.
However, the whole exercise should be brought under a comprehensive plan. Isolated efforts by some companies can capture the domestic market. But then a crowd of manufacturers for the same may throw the industry into chaos. The remediation of factories is yet to complete. All because, owners of some factories are not interested in investing because they think their profit margin will be minimum or even factories will incur losses. Now that streamlining the production process has begun, let the fittest survive. Alternatively, those factories can be handed over to more enterprising and ingenious parties for recasting the process of production. But there should be no compromise on remediation.
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