Bangladesh has emerged as a strong player in the denim market worldwide. As the demand for denim products is rising globally, local entrepreneurs have also started investing more in this sector. In the last five years five denim factories came into operation in Bangladesh of which four have already gone into production â€“ Square, Nice, Thermax and Badsha. Bangladesh, now in total has thirty denim factories.
Mostafiz Uddin, managing director of Chittagong-based Denim Expert and organiser of Bangladesh Denim Expo that takes place in Dhaka twice a year said that another five companies plan to set up denim factories as the demand is on the rise, especially in the West, the major market of denim.
Earlier, Bangladeshi manufacturers used to produce mainly basic denim products such as trousers, but now they also make shirts, bed sheets, pillow covers, home textiles, aprons and tablecloths.
Production capacity of the denim mills in Bangladesh is more than 40 million yards a month against the demand for nearly 70 million yards. The rest of the demand is met through imports from countries like China, India, Pakistan and Turkey.
Bangladeshi entrepreneurs supply denim products to major global retailers and brands, including H&M, Uniqlo, Levis, Nike, Tesco, Wrangler, s.Oliver, Hugo Boss, Walmart and Gap.
Square Denim, which was established at an investment of Tk 400 crore, went into production a few months ago in its Habiganj factory, said Syed Ahmed Chowdhury, general manager (operations) of the company.
Currently they are producing 1.5 million yards of denim a month although they have the capacity to produce 3 million yards. They will increase production gradually, said Chowdhury.
The industry insiders, said that about Tk 8,000 crore has already been invested in denim business in Bangladesh. In a few years, exports of denim products will rise to $5 billion, from more than $2 billion a year now.
According to US Department of Commerce, global denim sales amount to more than $56 billion a year now; the number is expected to reach $64 billion by the end of 2020. In 2015, Bangladeshi denim products had a 22.88 percent market share in the EU and 11.35 percent in the US.
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