Bangladesh ready-made garment (RMG) makers turned their commodity to fashion to remain competitive in the global market, where technology will take the lead in reaching their target.
Global fashion experts and designers came up with the recommendation, while they were talking about the future of Bangladesh’s apparel industry at the first ever Bangladesh Fashionology Summit in Dhaka on February 12.
Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE), an initiative to promote the country’s RMG sector, organized the summit to initiate discourse on latest fashion in bridging the gap between the present and the future of the textile and fashion industry in the country through technology, innovation and knowledge.
“Bangladesh is in a good position to take the advantage of technology in the RMG sector. Consumers and brands are moving towards tech-driven manufacturing. Here you have people who can adopt technology,” Jonathan Zornow, inventor of Sewbo and expert of automating garment manufacturing and 3D printing told the Dhaka Tribune.
“If you do not have people who can use technology, you will face trouble because people are looking for digital design and tech driven products,” said Jonathan.
David Birnbaum, CEO of Birnbaun & Father ।। Photo: Syed Zakir Hossain
According to him, technology is most important in managing the supply chain as the buyers want back and forth sample and want to use digital tools to communicate.
He further added technology is more about reducing production cost and time. Technology improves quality and provides more value to the customers.
Local manufacturers also talked about the role if technology in increasing the export growth which is stagnant right now.
“Growth of Bangladesh apparel exports has been stuck in a certain rate. It is quite impossible to increase export without tech-driven products and technological improvement in manufacturing,” Syed M Tanvir, a director of Pacific Jeans Limited told the Dhaka Tribune.
Mostafiz Uddin, founder and CEO of BAE speaks at the summit ।। Photo: Syed Zakir Hossain
According to Tanvir, China and Vietnam, who are competitors of Bangladesh, are moving towards technology and if we do not cope up with the latest technology in the apparel industry, Bangladesh will lag behind.
“Bangladesh’s profit margin is decreasing because it is not delivering customers needs. A factory is not a closed box. It works because it satisfies the needs of people,” said David Birnbaum, CEO of Birnbaun & Father, a garment industry strategic development firm.
We all agree that new technology will bring great change to the global garment industry and the supplying factories must embrace the new technology to survive, said David.
“The better price is productivity, which you can raise from 40% to 60% using technology,” stressed David.
“We tried to bring the most inspiring and innovative thinkers as well as exhibitors from across the globe under one roof to initiate the much-needed conversation around the technology, digitization and innovation in the apparel and fashion industry,” said Mostafiz Uddin, founder and CEO of BAE.
Experts on smart wear products also presented the prospects of tech-driven wearable technology.
“Smart fabrics have the ability and capacity to do many things that traditional fabrics cannot, such as, reacting to changes in its environment,” Muchaneta Kapfunde, founding editor-in-chief of FashNerd.com said in her presentation on Translating The Power of Smart Fabrics.
She added smart textiles is predicted to be worth $130 billion by 2025.