Policymakers, industry leaders, brands’ representatives, and fashion campaigners from home and abroad are gathering in Dhaka on 10th May, to accelerate the momentum of sustainability in the Bangladesh apparel industry.
More than 50 speakers, as well as 20 green growth exhibitors from over 20 countries, are participating in the 3rd edition of Sustainable Apparel Forum (SAF) being organized by Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE) partnering with Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
Current important apparel sustainability issues such as climate action, environmental social & governance (ESG) and green finance, purchasing practices, due diligence, and legislation, and circular economy will be discussed at the five plenary sessions along with the opening and closing plenaries of the 3rd SAF.
Speakers of the SAF include Dr Tawfiq-e-elahi Chowdhury, Bir Bikrom, adviser to the prime minister on power, energy and mineral resources; Salman F Rahman, MP, adviser to the prime minister on private industry & investment; Tipu Munshi, MP, commerce minister; Begum Monnujan Sufian, MP, state minister for labor and employment; Dr Ahmad Kaikaus, principal secretary to prime minister, Anna Athanasopoulou, head of unit for social economy & creative industries, European Commission; Barbara Bijelic, financial sector and regulatory engagement lead centre for responsible business conduct, OECD; Ian Cronin, community curator, platform shaping the future of advanced manufacturing & value chains, World Economic Forum; Lindita Xhaferi-Salihu, sectors engagement lead, UNFCCC; Ziaur Rahman, regional country manager, Bangladesh, Pakistan & Ethiopia, H&M; Javier Santonja Olcina, regional head, Bangladesh & Pakistan, Inditex; Dr Mark Anner, founding director, Center for Global Workers’ Rights and also professor, Penn State University, USA; Ayesha Barenblat, founder and CEO, Remake; Najet Draper, vice president research, Better Buying; Gemma Verhoeven, team lead impact investments, Good Fashion Fund; Annabel Meurs, head of supply chain transformation, Fair Wear Foundation; Faruque Hassan, president, BGMEA; Mohammad Hatem; executive president, BKMEA; and Tuomo Poutiainen, country director, Bangladesh, ILO.
Senior representatives from globally renowned recycling and renewable energy companies will also be in attendance as well as exhibit their sustainability and green technologies, products, and solutions at the SAF. The SAF will also showcase opportunities for much-needed green financing in the industry.
Founder and CEO of Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE) said: “This year’s SAF we are bringing all the fashion stakeholders under one roof to accelerate the momentum of sustainability in the Bangladesh apparel industry, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic which has had an immense impact on the global apparel supply chain. This is high-level networking with a specific goal in mind: how can we turn the needle so that the lofty sustainability goals our industry so often talks about are translated into meaningful, practical actions?”
“The world after the pandemic is totally different than that of the past. So, at the 3rd edition of SAF our aim is to drive discussion about the shared responsibility to make Bangladesh a sustainable and responsible apparel sourcing destination,” he added.
The Embassy of the Netherlands in Bangladesh is title sponsoring the 3rd SAF; while Pacific Jeans, Cotton USA and KDS are platinum sponsors; Epic, Laudes Foundation, Higg and H&M Group are gold sponsors; Better Work Bangladesh and Prime Bank are silver sponsors; and bKash, BRAC, Pacific Associates Ltd, and Rahimafrooz Solar are bronze sponsors of the event.