Bangladeshi ready-made garment makers plan to develop the country as a “global recycling hub” as it is the world’s second largest apparel exporter and one of the biggest garment and textile waste producers.
“We aspire to establish ourselves as a global recycling hub and further contribute to our economy while positively impacting our climate,” said Faruque Hassan, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), at the inauguration of the “SWITCH to Circular Economy Value Chains (SWITCH2CE)” programme in Dhaka on Tuesday.
The event aimed to foster collaboration, highlight project strategies including the model of piloting circular strategies with the private sector, showcase circularity in the textile and garment industry, and explore policy and knowledge ecosystems.
The BGMEA president said, “I firmly believe that circularity is our future, and the companies that would take early steps and scale up circular business models will be the winners.” He also said, “Climate and environmental concerns have become central to discussions in the global fashion and apparel industry. Consumers worldwide are increasingly conscious of ethical products, transparency, and circularity.
“As industry leaders, our challenge is to integrate sustainability into our business operations.”
Industry leaders, government representatives, academia, and international partners attended the programme organised by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Bangladesh ministry of commerce. Textile and Jute minister Golam Dastagir Gazi was the chief guest at the event.
In order to achieve success in the circular economy, speakers emphasised collaboration with the international community, technology transfer, and conducive policy framework including a reformed tax system.
Dr. Bernd Spanier, chargé d’affaires of the EU Delegation to Bangladesh, said, “We try to support the necessary economic transition in two ways. In terms of policies, we have been developing important regulations.
“By 2030 all textile products imported in the EU market have to be recycled, and made of second-hand fibres. For this purpose, private sector engagement is essential.”
While moderating a panel discussion, Dr M Masrur Reaz, chairman of Policy Exchange Bangladesh, emphasised policy support, collaboration with national and international partners, technology transfer, proper management, and easy green financing facility for developing a circular economy in the country.
Tapan Kanti Ghosh, senior secretary of the ministry of commerce, emphasised technical support and foreign direct investment in
this sector for a successful circular economy in Bangladesh.
Zaki Uz Zaman, representative of UNIDO in Bangladesh, Abdur Rahim Khan, additional secretary of the commerce ministry, Mark Draeck, chief technical advisor of SWITCH2CE project, also spoke at the programme.