Denim Expert going after perfection, innovation
Rather than going for mere expansion, Chattogram-based denim exporter Denim Expert Limited wants to attain perfection in its product and innovation as well as achieve environmental sustainability in order to turn the facility into a model factory.
Its Managing Director and CEO Mostafiz Uddin shared this last week in an interview with The Daily Star.
Denim Expert, which designs and develops products on its own and serves international buyers, is planning to invest Tk 200 crore in the near term to expand its business. It has targeted to raise the daily production of trousers to 25,000 pieces from the current capacity of 15,000 pieces.
"The plan is not aimed at expanding the capacity merely -- it is more about sustainability," said Mostafiz.
The entrepreneur is planning to take steps like installing advanced low liquid washing machines to consume 60 per cent less water compared to conventional laundries, introducing nanotechnologies to save water, chemicals and energy, and setting up solar panels and a biological water treatment plant to remove polluting organic and inorganic compounds.
Denim Expert also aims to put in place energy-saving machinery to cut energy use.
"My ultimate dream is to turn this factory into a model factory," Mostafiz said.
Starting its journey in 2009 with about 700 workers at the Karnaphuli Export Processing Zone in the port city, Denim Expert is continuously developing its self-design cells in an effort to produce new designs for its clients, mostly European and American.
The factory has been carrying out 100 per cent designs in its own design and development cell for the last 12 years and kept on enhancing this knowledge.
"We know how to deliver a new dress to the client," he said.
Rather than growing his factory into a bigger one, Mostafiz said Denim Expert is more poised to achieve perfection. Denim Expert is comparatively a small factory having 2,000 employees but has several pioneering footprints.
It is the first Bangladeshi manufacturer that joined the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the country's first company to join the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, and the first Bangladeshi contributor to the ZDHC Foundation, which is driving improvement in the management of textile chemicals globally.
In 2020, Denim Expert was recognised as 'New Champion' by the World Economic Forum for its extraordinary performance in sustainability and inclusivity.
The company has also become the first firm to employ transgender people and make education free for its women workers, who account for 70 per cent of its workforce.
"We may be small compared to many others, but we are stronger than others in terms of product innovation capability, diversification, social and environmental sustainability," Mostafiz said.
According to him, Denim Expert has some core values and wants to grow by maintaining these values.
"This has been the first job for most of the employees in our factory and many of them have climbed up to senior positions," he said.
He feels that there has to be a roadmap or strategy to achieve the target of $100 billion from exports from the country's readymade garment sector by 2030.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association has set the target.
Denim Expert regularly takes part in international fairs to promote Bangladesh. Since its inception more than a decade ago, it has participated in 42 expositions.
Owing to higher demand, denim product manufacturers in Bangladesh have outrun their Chinese counterparts in Europe and the US, the two major export destinations for Bangladesh.