European brands can consider creating a green circular ecosystem in Bangladesh

Mohammad Bakhtiar Rana, Associate Professor of International Business and Strategy, International Business Centre, Aalborg University, Denmark hosted a networking dinner in honor of BGMEA President Faruque Hassan and the BGMEA delegation in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Professor Olav Jull Sørensen, Professor Emeritus at Aalborg University and Senior Scientist at Access2Innovation, Denmark, Professor Dr. Lindsay Whitfield, Copenhagen Business School, Professor (MSO) Dr. Mette Vinther Larsen, Aalborg University Business School, Ambassador of Denmark to Bangladesh- Winnie Estrup Petersen, Søren Asbjørn Albertsen, sectoral counselor, Danish Embassy to Bangladesh, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Denmark- M. Allama Siddiki, Head of Sustainability at DM&T ( Danish fashion and Textile Association) Marie Busck, BGMEA Directors Abdullah Hil Rakib, Barrister Vidiya Amrit Khan, Neela Hosna Ara, Chair of BGMEA Standing Committee on Foreign Mission Cell Shams Mahmud also attended the dinner.

They discussed the importance of enhancing industry-academia collaboration to support the development of the RMG industry by identifying areas of improvement and capacity development, significantly escalating the recycling of textile waste (pre-consumer waste known as jhute) for closing the loop and implementing a circular economy connecting to the global value chain.

They also underscored the need for more research to devise knowledge-based strategies for the apparel industry.

BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said, “Bangladesh, the 2nd largest apparel exporter of the world, needs a conducive policy framework to expedite the ongoing green transformation. We cannot only rely on the minimal value addition in the RMG industry; we must make an effort to add more and higher value from green industrialization. In this domain, the “Circular Economy in Bangladesh’s Apparel Industry (CREATE)” project will provide us with research-based knowledge and policy recommendations and strategies that BGMEA, the government, and European brands can consider in creating a green circular ecosystem in Bangladesh which will be connected to the global apparel value chain, and eventually help us to close the loop locally.”

Expressing thanks for the hospitality, he sought the cooperation of all to promote the RMG industry, especially to share its compelling stories with stakeholders and explore ways to enhance RMG exports to Denmark.

Dr. Rana said, “The research on sustainable fashion agenda requires a comprehensive approach both in terms of methodological perspectives, multi-disciplinarity, and understanding of multiple stakeholders across the global apparel value chains. Thus, research should examine not only the apparel brands from the global North but also the suppliers, value chain actors, technology and supporting actors as well as institutions in the global South such as Bangladesh. Circular Economy research project in the Bangladeshi Apparel industry, therefore, aims to follow the ‘systemic’ approach using both quantitative and qualitative methods to examine the dynamics and issues underlying circular ecosystem development, explore the challenges, and develop the policies and strategies that Bangladeshi apparel industry can benefit from.”

Aalborg University Business School in collaboration with BGMEA, Copenhagen Business School, AUST, IBA, Dhaka University, ‘Access to Innovation’ and ‘Global Fashion Agenda’, The University of London, and The University of Essex, has received a grant of 12 million Danish Kroner from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DANIDA) for the research project titled “Circular Economy in Bangladesh’s Apparel Industry (CREATE)”. This Five-year research project is expected to start in September.