Industry Opinion Episode 14 –Recent Crises in the Textile Industry

Textile Focus presents Industry Opinion Powered by US Cotton Trust Protocol Episode-14 was on the topic- “Recent Crisis in the Textile Industry.” Team Textile Focus received feedback from the industry stakeholders.

Alex Zucchi, President, Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers (ACIMIT)

Bangladesh has huge potential, and I believe the country has not utilize 100% of its capability. Though, for the last 15-20 years, the skill of the people and the quality of the products have improved. Due to the current world-wide situation, Bangladesh is to suffer also. The war is affecting people’s lives. They are not spending much money on garment purchasing. So the world-wide consumption rate of garments is dropping, also the production of garments. In the nearby country, Pakistan, garments production has dramatically reduced the situation and may continue for at least next 5-6 months. Bangladesh will also get affected, but maybe less than other countries. So, the country should get ready to resist the situation. On the other hand, the Bangladesh textile industry is also run for 8-9 hours daily, but they should run 8-9 hours daily, but they should run for 24 hours. This is effecting the industry and the production is dropping. Bangladesh has the capabilities to overcome this situation. This is just a matter of time, but Bangladesh will surely succeed.

Abrar Hossain Sayem, President, BAYLA; Co-founder & CEO at Merchant Bay

We all are aware of the current crisis moment in the textile industry. , Let’s not talk about it; instead, focus on what will happen next in 2023. None; we say indeed about the future, we can only predict. Major RMG markets for Bangladesh are USA and Europe. Both are suffering from almost 10% inflation. As a result, the end consumers have reduced their rate of garment purchasing. Also, the brands fear whether they should mature more clothes or not. Christmas is very close, and experts think that this time sales of garments will be reduced by 22%. Brands are also worried about that. Experts are thinking – If Christmas does not increase the sell torments, they may also not increase by next spring or summer. As a result, Bangladesh will get less work orders. We can say that 2023 will be one of the most challenging times for the country. But we should always keep a positive attitude. Previously, we have faced various difficult hem t moments, and we have overcome successfully. I think, we should look for opportunities. We should look for alternate ways how can we manufacture & sell our products. Apart from faint retailers, we should also look for alternate retailers, even on digital platforms. There are around 13000 wholesalers who are selling their products through digital mediums. I think this is the right time; we should put effort and find out alternate markets, alternate market policy & alternate customers. We, the industry people, seed to come forward and collaborate among the buyers, the industry & the government. This is test of negotiation. If we can make this collaboration & fit for new opportunities, I think we will be able to sustain the 2023.

Fakir Rafsanuzzaman, Director, Fakir Apparels Ltd

The Ukraine-Russian war has sparked a global energy crisis, straining supply chains and exerting inflationary pressure worldwide. As a result, we know Bangladesh is currently suffering from massive energy shortages as gas and oil prices have increased drastically, forcing factories to cut back on productive hours due to a debilitating lack of sufficient gas supply. As a manufacturer, we have no control over this global crisis; however, this is the time to think about how to overcome these challenges within our own capacity and capabilities to learn from and manage such challenges in the future.

As a result of this, Fakir Apparels has installed a small-scale LPG plant with a capacity of 40 tonnes inside the compound to support and boost gas pressure for any shortcomings in order to ensure consistent fabric quality during production and timely delivery of goods. Moreover, our solar project is currently underway with a total capacity of 2.8 MW, of which 800-900 KW will be functional by January 2023 through which we will be able to reduce our carbon emissions by 15% as well as dependency on non-renewable energy. We have also tried to identify any scope of power conservation in our production processes and put mechanisms in place to capture and reuse waste hot water and steam from our dyeing processes and push it back into the system to further reduce pressure on gas and improve production efficiency as well.

I believe as a collective entity, each and every member of the organization has an innate responsibility to reduce power consumption and improve energy-related efficiencies internally, especially in times of crisis. All members of Fakir Apparels understand and are aligned with this collective initiative, where we are encouraged to take small and simple personal initiatives consistently to conserve and optimize energy consumption in our daily lives at work and at home as well.