As Denim Expo is set to kick off today in the city, the local investors are looking to increase their global market share promoting own products.
This emerging Bangladesh industry has to compete with their global competitors in all aspects including design, innovation, quality and branding. Without these things better price is hard to get.
“Creating own brands and producing quality products with innovative designs are a must to secure better prices for denim products,” Mostafiz Uddin, managing director of Denim Expert Limited, told the Dhaka Tribune during an exclusive interview.
He said the jeans manufacturers also have to explore the latest fashions and start manufacturing high-end products and create their own brands. He put emphasis on the research and development.
“Innovative designs and quality of products should be developed through research and development to produce the value-added products,” Mostafiz said. “The technical know-how about the trendy products is also a must.”
According to him, the country’s denim fabric manufacturers produce traditional fabrics used for basic products, and these fabrics cannot be used to produce denim as per the demands of global buyers and consumers.
“As a result, manufacturers have to create value-added products with imported fabrics,” Denim Expert MD said.
He added if new investments are made for traditional basic products, it will create more competitions among the existing business.
“Since Bangladesh gradually enters into manufacturing high-end jeans, the denim fabric manufacturers have to concentrate on production of standard fabrics to meet the demands and reduce dependency on import.”
About how Bangladesh can attract international buyers of denim products, Mostafiz emphasised that the country’s manufacturers will need to come out of the Dhaka-centric business, rather to engage representatives in branding their products and capacity.
“Most of our manufacturers do not have representatives in the buyer countries to make the buyers aware of their brands, while competitors are frequently visiting buyer offices to promote their products.”
Beside manufacturers’ promotional activities, Mostafiz thinks buyers also have a role to play in helping the manufacturers produce high-end products.
“If the buyers do not place orders for high-end products, it is very tough to produce the value-added products. That is why the buyers should place orders first in a small quantity to encourage and provide technical support first.”
Bangladesh faces a number of challenges in manufacturing quality jeans.
According to Denim Expert MD, insufficient supply of quality raw materials, especial quality fabrics, energy efficient washing and dyeing technology and meeting lead time are the key challenges for the Bangladesh denim industry.
Mostafiz also talked about the initiatives taken to use less natural resources in a denim factory.
“On sustainability of business, there is no alternative to consumption of less natural resources. For that purpose, I preserve rainwater and use it while introducing laser to designing a jeans that consumes less water and resource,” he said.
“We use rainwater for 90 days a year as we have a large water reservoir with a capacity of 32m gallons. The stored water is used for dyeing and washing denim products.”
He said Denim Experts recycle 61 cubic metres of water from the dyeing and washing plants per hour and reuse the water for various purposes.
When asked that what local manufacturers need to do to brand their products, the denim expert said: “The buyers will come to your door is an old idea. Manufacturers have to show their strength to produce quality products through display.”
He said for that purpose, there is no alternative to participating in expo across the globe.
Mostafiz said to show innovation of Bangladesh denim industry, they organise Bangladesh Denim Expo twice every year, which aims to share information and gather experience from the developed countries’ manufacturing high-end products.