It is claimed that there are at least 4500 fashion houses of varying sizes. This industry has created employment for 5 million people where women's participation is a staggering 70 per cent. The opportunities of this fashion industry in our country is enormous.
On the other hand, the fashion industry of our country faces a lot of difficulties and threats, be it the lack of proper government support or the invasion of Indian and Pakistani made attires.
Amidst this scene, Fashion Entrepreneurs Association of Bangladesh (FEAB) -- Fashion Uddeg in Bengali -- has emerged. On 22 March, 2014 at Dhaka's Ruposhi Bangla Hotel, the organisation saw its formal inauguration, with the presence of the event's chief guest, Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, the finance minister of People's Republic of Bangladesh.
This new organisation is an amalgamation of the heads of the several acclaimed fashion brands of the country. For example, Azharul Haque Azhad, the president of FEAB, is the head of Shada Kalo.
Given the condition of neighbouring countries like India, Pakistan and Nepal, our country still lacks a proper structure and a body of policies. This organisation will be a platform to discuss such issues and bring about the necessary changes so that the fashion industry of Bangladesh can collectively conserve the country's rich fashion heritage, compete adequately and effectively against the foreign fashion products and improve the made-in-Bangladesh brand across the globe.
And true to its purpose, the event comprised of speeches from various fashion entrepreneurs -- as well as a few other renowned celebrities and representatives from different trade bodies, including BGMEA and FBCCI -- who put forward their interests, requests and gratitude to the finance minister.
The claims dealt with bringing the fashion industry under a specific ministry and provide it an economic boost, a more relaxed VAT and interest rates, etc.
In short, the organisation asked for a more business friendly atmosphere to make this sector even more flourishing.
Finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith praised the work of the fashion industry, opining that even though the resources of this country are relatively low, the true assets are the entrepreneurs. He also informed that within the next five years export earning should rise over $75 billion.
"Worshipping beauty, and affinity towards beauty, is a basic characteristic of man," he remarked.