Desk Report: The 4th edition of Sustainable Apparel Forum (SAF) stressed on the importance of making the shift from linear to circular model to accelerate the momentum of sustainability in Bangladesh apparel industry.
60 renowned speakers and 20 exhibitors from across the world gathered at the Forum organized by Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE) at a city hotel in Dhaka recently highlighted issues circularity, CO2 reductions and climate action, shifting to renewable energy, human rights due diligence.
High profile speakers include at the SAF include: Tipu Munshi MP, Honourable Minister, Ministry of Commerce, Bangladesh, Md. Tazul Islam MP, Honourable Minister, Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives, Bangladesh, Nasrul Hamid, MP, Honourable State Minister, Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, Bangladesh, Zunaid Ahmed Palak MP, Honourable State Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Bangladesh, Md. Atiqul Islam, The Mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation and Former President BGMEA, Saber Hossain Chowdhury MP, Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, H.E. Peter D. Hass, Ambassador, U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh, H.E. Charles Whiteley, Ambassador and Head of Delegation, Delegation of the European Union in Bangladesh, Faruque Hassan, President, BGMEA and Managing Director, Giant Group, Md. Siddiqur Rahman, Former President, BGMEA & Chairman, Sterling Group, Fazlee Shamim Ehsan, Vice President, BKMEA & Founder of Fatullah Apparels, Salim Rahman, Managing Director-KDS & Chairman, Al-Arafah Islami Bank Ltd., Ranjan Mahtani, Executive Chairman, Epic Group, Naureen Chowdhury, Head of Labour Rights Programme, Laudes Foundation, Tuomo Poutiainen, Country Director, International Labour Organization (ILO).
Tapan Kanti Ghosh, Senior Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Bangladesh, Rene Van Berkel, UNIDO Representative & Head, UNIDO, Regional Office in India, H.E. Winnie Estrup Petersen, Ambassador, Embassy of Denmark in Bangladesh, H.E. Alexandra Berg von Linde, Ambassador, Embassy of Sweden in Bangladesh, Ziaur Rahman, Regional Country Manager Production (Bangladesh, Pakistan & Africa), H&M, Dr. Saleemul Huq, Director, ICCCAD and Professor, Independent University of Bangladesh, Bernadette Blom, Director, Good Fashion Fund, Netherlands, Dr. Shahriare Mahmood, Chief Sustainability Officer, Spinnova PLC, Finland, Werner Lange, Coordinator-Textile Cluster, GIZ, Hilde Van Duijn, Head of Global Value Chains, Circle Economy, Netherlands, Micke Magnusson, Entrepreneur in Residence, Enviu, Netherlands, Helene Smits, Chief Sustainability Officer, Recover, Spain, Miran Ali, Vice President, BGMEA and Managing Director, Bitopi Group, Alamgir Morshed, Executive Director & CEO, Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL), Morten Lehmann, CEO & Founder, Tailwind, Denmark, Naser Ezaz Bijoy, CEO, Standard Chartered Bangladesh, Ali Reza Iftekhar, Managing Director & CEO, Eastern Bank Limited, Dr. Vidhura Ralapanawe, Executive Vice President, Epic Group, Ashish Damle, Country Director, Oxfam Bangladesh, Nawshad Mustafa, Deputy General Manager, Bangladesh Bank, Mohamad Anis Agung Nugroho, Programme Manager, Better Work Bangladesh, Dr. Bernd Spanier, Deputy Head of Delegation, Delegation of the European Union in Bangladesh, Kathryn Davis Stevens, Mission Director, USAID Bangladesh, Andrew Martin, Vice President, Membership & Stakeholder Engagement, Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), USA, Ruairidh McCarthy, Head of Partnership Development, WaterAid, UK, Jasmin Malik Chua, Sourcing & Labour Editor, Sourcing Journal and many more.
A roundtable discussion titled ‘The Journey Towards Circular Fashion in Bangladesh’ has been also organized in the 4th SAF. In the roundtable moderated by Barrister Vidiya Amrit Khan, Director of BGMEA, participants who are comprised of apparel and textile manufacturers, buyers, embassies, recyclers and global organizations promoting sustainability, has opined that the circularity can greatly contribute to achieve the USD 100 billion export target of Bangladesh apparel industry by the year 2030.
In the SAF the launching of project ‘Closing the Loop on Textile Waste’ was also announced. The project being implemented by Bangladesh Apparel Exchange, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the Dutch based organization Enviu and Belgium based recycler Purfi that’s funded by Partnering for Green Growth & the Global Goals 2030 (P4G), aims to build a circular and inclusive textile value chain in Bangladesh and Kenya.
The partners of the 4th SAF are Laudes Foundation, KDS Group, PDS Limited, Epic Group, Noize Jeans, International Labour Organization (ILO)- Better Work Bangladesh, WaterAid Bangladesh, Oxfam in Bangladesh, Ministry of Commerce, U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh, Delegation of the European Union in Bangladesh, Embassy of Denmark in Bangladesh, Embassy of Sweden in Bangladesh, UNIDO, USAID Bangladesh, Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), ICCCAD, IDCOL, GIZ, The Apparel Impact Institute, Good Fashion Fund, Enviu, Fashion for Good, SLCP, Circle Economy, Global Labor Institute, Sourcing Journal USA, H&M Group, Bestseller, YKK Corporation, Spinnova PLC, Standard Chartered, Eastern Bank Limited.
Event exhibitors A&E, YKK, Smartex AI, Recover, Reverse Resources, Agroshift Technologies Ltd., Eurofins, DIFE, Vision Spring, Merchant Bay, Green Bud, Shahjalal Poly and many more.
Mostafiz Uddin the founder of BAE and organiser of the Sustainable Apparel Forum (SAF) said: “At every major fashion brand, the conversation is the same right now. It is ‘how can we reduce our carbon emissions in order to meet net zero targets. Where circular fashion could play a vital. Because closing the loop means you are not using new cotton, new fabrics rather recycling and reusing the fabrics waste, thus not only reducing the carbon emissions but also ensuring optimum utilization of the natural resources.’’
“That is why events such as Sustainable Apparel Forum (SAF) are so critical, as they offer an opportunity to explore the challenges and drive collective action for the solutions.’’