Bangladesh’s Sweater Industry Growing Rapidly


Farzana Alam Piya

Soma Parveen

Bangladesh is turning into a major sourcing hub for sweaters, only after China. Earnings from sweater exports reached 4.05 Billion US$ in the fiscal year of 2020-21, up 12.62% year on year. Nowadays, Chinese manufacturers are no longer interested in making sweaters because of the complexities in the manufacturing process, higher cost of production, and shortage of skilled workers, according to industry insiders. As a result, more & more sweater orders from international retailers and brands are shifting to Bangladesh.


A sweater is a warm piece of clothing, typically with long sleeves, made of wool or other material and worn on the upper part of the body. It can be worn by both men and women. The sweater also known as fully fashioned knitwear is a leading sub-sector of readymade garments.

Sweater Industry in Bangladesh

Financial YearTotal RMG ExportTotal Sweater ExportMarket ShareGrowth Rate
(B US$)(B US$)
Source BGMEA

The sweater production and export of Bangladesh RMG sector is the encouraging sub-sector. The sweater has a great contribution in the field of nearly 12% to the total RMG exports of $30.61 billion in FY17-18 whereas it was $3.37 billion in the fiscal year 2016 -2017, a rise of 9.22% within a year. Sweater manufacturers upgrade their machinery from manual to automatic, for this reason, the productivity of workers and overall factory production increases. Due to global climate change, the sweater becomes trendy with fashionable accessories. People from this industry hope that by 2021 this sector’s annual worth will be $8 billion.

Exporting sweaters from Bangladesh has been increasing rapidly with competitive pricing in the Western countries playing an outstanding role. The country exported sweaters worth US$ 3.37 billion in the fiscal year 2016-17, up by 5.64 percent year on year. Notably, some of the leading global brands including Walmart, Marks & Spencer (M&S), GAP, Tesco, H&M, JCPenney, and Zara are the major buyers of Bangladeshi sweater products. The major export-oriented items of sweaters from Bangladesh are Turtle neck sweaters, jackets, pullovers, cardigans, vests, hoodies, coats, overcoats, etc. are exported both in men’s, women’s, and kids’ wearing. from Bangladesh have been

History of Sweater Industry in Bangladesh

History of the sweater Industry of Bangladesh DSSL is one of the flagship companies of Bangladesh’s DRAGON GROUP which is the Pioneer of the Bangladesh Sweater Industry. The group played a pioneering role in the sweater industry of Bangladesh by starting the first sweater project in Bangladesh in the early 80s with technical collaboration from Hong Kong and China. Since then the group has implanted the seeds for the development of the sweater industry in Bangladesh. Today Bangladesh exports over 4 Billion US Dollars of sweaters and the country employs nearly a million people in the sweater industry

Top Sweater Companies in Bangladesh

There are almost 600 sweater factories in Bangladesh. Some of the major players in sweater manufacturing in Bangladesh, all of which expanded their capacity at least once in recent times are listed below:

Market Analysis of Knit Sweater

Knit Sweaters are the world’s 62nd most traded product and the market size is 51.7Billion US$.

In 2020, the top exporters of Knit Sweaters were China ($16.1B), Bangladesh ($4.91B), Vietnam ($3.74B), Italy ($2.84B), and Germany ($2.47B).

Top Knit Sweater Exporting Countries of 2020
CountryTrade Value (In B US$)Market shareTrade Value Growth
  Source: OEC

In 2020, the top importers of Knit Sweaters were the United States ($11.5B), Germany ($5.42B), Japan ($3.72B), United Kingdom ($2.77B), and France ($2.59B).

Top Knit Sweater Importing Countries of 2020
CountryTrade Value (In. B US$)Market ShareTrade Value Growth
Source: OEC

SWOT Analysis of The Sweater Industry in Bangladesh


  • Discovering New Market Opportunities.
  • Research & Development on New Designs & Product Diversity.
  • Investment in New Technologies as per 4th Industrial Revolution.
  • Creative & Impactful Marketing Policy.
  • Taking Necessary Actions to Ensure Stable Power Supply to the Factories.
  • Taking Necessary Actions to Ensure Business Friendly Environment.

Expert’s Feedback about Bangladesh’s Sweater Industry