Denim factories spring up as demand soars
Five denim factories came into operations in the last five years amid rising demand for denim products in the global market, said industry insiders.
Now the total number of denim factories in Bangladesh is 30.
Of the five factories, four have already gone into production -- Square, Nice, Thermax and Badsha, said Mostafiz Uddin, managing director of Chittagong-based Denim Expert and organiser of Bangladesh Denim Expo that takes place in Dhaka twice a year.
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, said Mostafiz.
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, he said.
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.
“Bangladesh has emerged as a strong player in the denim market worldwide. As the demand is rising globally, local entrepreneurs are investing more in the sector,” Mostafiz said.
The industry insiders said 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.
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, according to US Department of Commerce.
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 we are producing 1.5 million yards of denim a month although we have the capacity to produce 3 million yards. We will increase production gradually,” Chowdhury said.
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.