The eighth edition of Bangladesh Denim Expo (BDE) just drew to a close last week and received a good response from buyers, retailers and manufacturers alike. The two-day invitation-only fair, dedicated to promoting Bangladesh's denim industry, took place from 9th to 10th May as before at the International Convention City Bashundhara in Dhaka.
“Bangladesh Denim Expo is to promote Bangladesh's strength and capacity of denim product manufacturing. It also focuses on the latest innovation and technology to make it familiar with the manufacturers,” said BDE's founder and CEO Mostafiz Uddin. “In this edition, we have tried to show that Bangladesh is no more a country for sourcing basic products. Our efforts are to promote the denim industry and to make it the best sourcing hub for denim products,” he added.
According to official figures, 61 exhibitors from 14 countries including Bangladesh participated in the show that saw a total of 5,332 visitors from 1003 companies and 50 countries.
The focus of this year's edition of the Bangladesh Denim Expo was “Equality” - equal rights for workers and employers to ensure mutual respect and good working relationship. Accordingly, there was a panel discussion titled “Equality in action in Bangladesh” on the first day of the expo. Another panel discussion, on the second day, focused on “Sustainable initiatives in the production process”.
“Bangladeshi denim manufacturers are trying their best to make everything perfect. I can see that day-by-day, developing a lot, improving themselves. The country has taken a stride towards technological investment in the sector,” said Fabien Liautard, project manager of Jeanologia. “I can see that Bangladesh is a very good market for the European Union and US customers. People think it is improving and lots of factories are doing better and for the show itself, it has been improving from the beginning until today.”
In addition, three seminars were offered, which shed light on the topics “Made in Bangladesh - from analogue to digital”, “Ecofree 2: the all-in-one system” and “What makes a good jean?”. The latter was further explored in a workshop.
The seminars provided an in-depth analysis of the evolution of the denim jeans and a detailed analysis of the cross-pollination and evolution of the world’s leading brands. They also offered a comprehensive overview of the scope of products available in Bangladesh and the key highlights of trends for the forthcoming season.
“We have made investments in the technology for manufacturing denim products, which is helping us increase our product quality and to achieve value addition. As a result, buyers' confidence in Bangladesh for sourcing denim products is increasing,” said Mohammed Sohel Rana, director (merchandising and marketing) of Nassa Group, who participated in the expo.
“While Bangladesh’s capacity to produce denim fabrics has increased, we are taking the lead in the European and US markets. Bangladeshi manufacturers also have made lot of investments in research and innovation and the sector will soon be known as a value-added products manufacturer,” he added.
Bangladesh Denim Expo was founded in 2014 by Mostafiz Uddin to showcase the country’s growth potential in the denim industry following the Rana Plaza building collapse in April 2013. Since then, the fair has steadily increased in size and scope, starting with 3,000 visitors and 50 exhibitors from 14 countries in November 2014. By 2016, BDE already attracted more than 5,000 visitors from over 46 countries worldwide, representing more than 1000 companies, and 54 exhibitors from 15 countries.Photos: courtesy of Bangladesh Denim Expo