RMG NOTES | The Daily Star
  • What does the second wave of Covid-19 mean for the apparel industry?

    During the past few months, I had worked on a documentary for the BBC which looks at the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the apparel industry of Bangladesh.

  • Circular economy is here to stay, so embrace it!

    In the past 12 months, we have seen overwhelming commitments made by the global apparel industry towards circular economy and making fashion circular.

  • A crisis like no other: But what have we learned?

    We are still here and still fighting, even though the past few months have been tough. Myself, and many of my contemporaries running garment factories in Bangladesh are well qualified, experienced, we have the training and we have the knowledge. But absolutely nothing could have prepared us for the past few months.

  • Putting consumers at the centre of green buying

    In the discussions around climate impacts and business, a missing link is often the consumer.

  • For a better planet, we must all do our part

    One of my favourite quotes goes something like this: “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything.” The quote is by Albert Einstein and was made with reference to how easy it is for tyrannical leaders to take power and wreak havoc.

  • Bangladesh must be in the premier league of a new apparel industry

    A new study by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) suggests that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic will be deep and long-lasting.

  • Small can be beautiful in a post-Covid world

    The huge changes we are seeing in the global apparel industry right now are bewildering and unsettling for many of us. A tsunami has swept through the Bangladesh apparel sector and it is hard to believe that things will ever be quite the same again in our industry.

  • Climate change is the real challenge, not coronavirus

    The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc within the global apparel industry and its supply chains and continues to have a devastating impact on sourcing hubs such as our own.

  • Supplier crisis shows why retailer bankruptcy laws need reform

    Running a business is a hard slog. It involves long hours, lots of stress, lots of responsibility and rarely a time to switch off and relax. I am not complaining—that is the life I have chosen, and I feel blessed I have been given the privilege to run my own company.

  • Harnessing the power of partnerships

    One of the most disappointing aspects of the Covid-19 crisis, which has done so much damage to our industry, was with regard to some of the emails and letters businesses received from their apparel brand customers.

  • Fast fashion’s thorny question

    One thing there has yet to be much discussion about since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic is the issue of waste. We know that hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of garment and textile orders have been cancelled or postponed.

  • Apparel industry needs to recognise its true worth

    “If you don’t know your own value, somebody will tell you your value, and it’ll be less than you’re worth,” stated Bernard Hopkins Jr, one of the most successful boxers of the past three decades.

  • Why consumers are complicit in workers’ sufferings

    In the United Kingdom, they have a small but thriving garment industry in Leicester, an industrial city about 100 miles north of London.

  • Time to put workers first

    The past two decades have seen the onward march of the corporate social responsibility agenda in the global apparel industry.

  • Where next for our industry beyond Covid-19?

    Three months after most of the major global markets of Bangladeshi garments entered a lockdown period and closed many of their shops, we are beginning to get a better picture of how the industry might look as we move beyond Covid-19.

  • Garments industry needs evolution, not revolution

    We need to do better. We need a complete “industry reset”. We “cannot go back to the way things were before”. I hear all of these sentiments and read about them each day on my various social media feeds. Part of me thinks, “yes, we must strive for a better industry”.

  • Don’t let the price fool you

    I have posted on social media regularly about the issue of brands delaying payments to suppliers in the wake of growing concerns about Covid-19.

  • Global suppliers are stronger working together

    There are very few positives to be taken from the past few weeks as Covid-19 has wreaked havoc around the world, killing otherwise healthy people—and placing otherwise healthy businesses on life-support. In fact, as I write this, a great many garment suppliers globally are in urgent need of their own “intensive care”. Cash is the lifeblood of our industry, and right now, many thousands if not tens of thousands of garment factories around the world are running out of it.

  • How apparel buyers can support their manufacturing partners

    The Covid-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc throughout the global fashion industry. A recently updated report by McKinsey and Company and the Business of Fashion—“The State of Fashion 2020”—states that the global fashion industry will face a 27 percent to 30 percent contraction in business due to the outbreak of the virus.

  • Trust between apparel manufacturers and brands is another victim of Covid-19

    The building of trust, meaningful relationships between manufacturers and customers in the global apparel industry has played a vital role in the continuing success of the sector.

  • When contracts have no meaning

    What does a “contract” actually mean? I am sure many garment factory owners have been pondering over this issue these past few weeks. Here’s a simple definition of a contract: “A written or spoken agreement, especially one concerning employment, sales, or tenancy, that is intended to be enforceable by law.”

  • World needs to use or lose Bangladesh apparel industry

    It has taken more than four decades of incredibly hard work to build up the Bangladeshi RMG industry. In fact, the first export-oriented RMG industry of Bangladesh began when Daewoo of South Korea established a joint venture in 1977, almost 43 years ago.

  • Plagued by coronavirus, can the RMG industry pull together?

    Recently, I wrote about how coronavirus (COVID-19), which is now on the verge of becoming a global pandemic, has provided a wake-up call for Bangladesh and its RMG industry.

  • Factories need to grasp the nettle

    Never under-estimate the power of marketing and PR. At present, there is a huge disparity in the global apparel industry in terms of who is doing what with regard to sustainability. Some brands are doing a lot. Some brands are doing a little. Some brands are doing nothing at all.

  • When will the global apparel industry truly clean up its act?

    News of another apparel factory tragedy on February 8, which claimed seven innocent lives, throws into sharp focus how much is still needed to be done in the global apparel industry to ensure the safety of its workers.

  • Bangladesh RMG Workers

    The coronavirus conundrum for Bangladesh apparel industry

    The corona-virus, which has already killed hundreds of people in China and is now making its way across the globe, will inevitably cause significant disruption to apparel supply chains during 2020. The question is, to what extent, for how long, and how will Bangladesh be impacted?

  • Can the new leaders build on the legacy of their predecessors?

    In family businesses, the concept of “succession planning” is well known. It is the process of identifying and developing new leaders who can replace old leaders when they leave, retire or die.

  • Time for our apparel industry to promote its sustainable credentials

    "You can’t sell anything if you can’t tell anything,” stated Beth Comstock, former vice chair of General Electric, and I feel this is true when we consider the advances in sustainability made by the apparel industry of Bangladesh and the growing global awareness of the importance of the sustainability agenda.

  • It’s good to talk

    We need to talk more in the workplace. We need to communicate better. We need to get things out in the open, to air grievances, share our hopes, fears and concerns and, where appropriate, ideas, aspirations and goals for the future.

  • The mark-up monotony

    "Find the right price for an irresistible offer, which, by the way, isn’t necessarily the lower price.” So stated W. Chan Kim, Professor of Strategy and Management at INSEAD, one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools.