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BGMEA looks to tap $100b RMG market by 2030

It starts using heritage materials to produce high-end fashion

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The apex apparel-body BGMEA has started developing high-end fashion items using local heritage stuff, including fabrics, in a bid to earn $100 billion from garment exports by 2030.

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) steps include raising its global market share to 12 per cent from below 7.0 per cent now.

For this, BGMEA in sync with commerce ministry and the World Trade Organisation trained 160 varsity students, participants from garment units, weavers and jamdani makers to help them develop design with local motifs on fabrics for high-end garment items.

"After achieving the milestone of 45-billion-dollar RMG export in 2022, we've taken a strategic vision to achieve 100-billion-dollar apparel export by 2030," BGMEA president Faruque Hassan said on Wednesday.

"To pursue this vision and increase our global market share, we're working to make ourselves more advanced in terms of product and fabric diversification, product sophistication, new design development, value addition and technological upgradation."

Mr Hassan expects local makers to start producing high-end apparel items from jamdani fabrics as prices of those goods are very high, he added.

He made the observations and suggestions at a programme hosted to hand over certificates to the trainees at BGMEA Complex in Dhaka under a project.

Export of garment items made of jamdani fabrics from here is currently very low as very few are trying to develop design and apparel items, mentioned Mr Hassan.

Some boutique designers buy jamdani products from local jamdani makers, especially from Sonargaon and Rupganj, to manufacture garment items from jamdani fabrics.

He further said that the training programmes provided networking opportunities for local weavers with designers, academicians and brands.

BGMEA is also working on the making of garment items from recycled yarn and fabrics as per the demand of international retailers and brands.

Usually, jamdani means sari, but high-end garment items can also be made from jamdani fabrics, especially for wedding and bridal collection, said Anadil Johnson, founder of Chicago-based fashion house Neval.

The Bangladeshi-origin fashion designer has been sourcing jamdani fabrics from Sonargaon for more than 10 years to make high-end value-laden garment items, especially wedding and bridal wear, for her customers in the USA.

Ms Johnson trained up weavers and students at BGMEA for developing skilled human resources in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh has a great opportunity to grab a good market of heritage-designed garments as it has the tradition of making jamdani and muslin, she cited.

There is a significant market demand for bridal clothing globally worth $62 billion annually, according to Ms Johnson.

Ayub Nabi Khan, pro-vice chancellor of BGMEA University of Fashion and Technology, said India has been exporting $5.0-billion heritage garments annually.

The project for developing design for heritage garment items was taken by commerce ministry in August 2018.

The tenure of the project terminates at the end of this month, said Elias Mia, project director.

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