DHAKA – A conference and exhibition on 16th March will spotlight opportunities for sustainable clothing production in Bangladesh. More than 60 renowned speakers and 20 exhibitors presenting green production technologies will be present.
Issues on the agenda include circularity, CO2 reductions and climate action, shifting to renewable energy, human rights due diligence.
The Sustainable Apparel Forum (SAF), whose 4th edition will take place on 16th March 2023 in Dhaka, has become firmly established as a showcase event for fashion sourcing executives in recent years.
Sustainability teams at the world’s leading fashion brands are under heightened pressure to improve their performance on environmental and social issues.
Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) has become a key boardroom topic, while ongoing regulatory reform means fashion buyers need better understanding about the sustainability performance of their supply chains.
Bangladesh is the world’s second largest garment sourcing destination. In recent years it has positioned itself as one of the foremost green production hubs. The country easily has the most LEED-rated factories and has also undertaken a huge factory safety programme over the past decade.
The Sustainable Apparel Forum (SAF) 2023 brings together clothing manufacturers, government officials and policy makers, professionals in green finance, human rights specialists, green production and technology experts, fashion sustainability and sourcing teams and NGOs working in fashion supply chains.
The event will include a range of plenaries, seminars, green growth exhibitions and informal networking opportunities.
The Sustainable Apparel Forum (SAF) 2023 arrives at a decisive time for the fashion industry and its sustainability agenda. The past two years have seen a shift away from voluntary agreements by the industry towards hard rules and regulations. Penalties for failing to improve sustainability performance will mean lost business for fashion brands as well as potentially falling foul of supply chain due diligence laws. This is an industry in transition.
Mostafiz Uddin is the organiser of Sustainable Apparel Forum (SAF). He said: “At every major fashion brand, the conversation is the same right now. It is ‘how can we reduce our carbon emissions in order to meet net zero targets’.
“For years, fashion brands focused on their own retail operations, but the research shows that up to 90 per cent of carbon emissions take place at Tier 3 level – in other words in supply chains.
“That is why events such as Sustainable Apparel Forum (SAF) are so critical, as they offer an opportunity to explore the challenges, we face in reducing emissions and improving sustainability performance. SAF brings together all of the key stakeholders involved in the fashion and textile industries as well as policy makers and businesses which can provide solutions to some of the problems the industry is trying so hard to solve.
“As well as looking at environmental issues, Sustainable Apparel Forum 2023 will explore the social context, including better wages and rights for garment workers – a subject which is close to my heart.
“Ours is an industry which is changing like never before. Sourcing teams are making key strategic decisions, in many cases taking production out of China as they look to save costs and reduce their dependence on that country.
“This represents an opportunity for Bangladesh but only if we present ourselves as a genuinely green and sustainable alternative. At Sustainable Apparel Forum 2023 we will present our vision for greener, cleaner, more ethical supply chains to the outside world.”
High profile speakers include at the March event include: Tipu Munshi MP, Honourable Minister, Ministry of Commerce, Bangladesh, Md. Tazul Islam MP, Honourable Minister, Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives, Bangladesh, Nasrul Hamid, MP, Honourable State Minister, Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, Bangladesh, Zunaid Ahmed Palak MP, Honourable State Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Bangladesh, Md. Atiqul Islam, The Mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation and Former President BGMEA, Saber Hossain Chowdhury MP, Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, H.E. Peter D. Hass, Ambassador, U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh, H.E. Charles Whiteley, Ambassador and Head of Delegation, Delegation of the European Union in Bangladesh, Faruque Hassan, President, BGMEA and Managing Director, Giant Group, Md. Siddiqur Rahman, Former President, BGMEA & Chairman, Sterling Group, Fazlee Shamim Ehsan, Vice President, BKMEA & Founder of Fatullah Apparels, Salim Rahman, Managing Director-KDS & Chairman, Al-Arafah Islami Bank Ltd., Ranjan Mahtani, Executive Chairman, Epic Group, Naureen Chowdhury, Head of Labour Rights Programme, Laudes Foundation, Tuomo Poutiainen, Country Director, International Labour Organization (ILO).
Tapan Kanti Ghosh, Senior Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Bangladesh, Rene Van Berkel, UNIDO Representative & Head, UNIDO, Regional Office in India, H.E. Winnie Estrup Petersen, Ambassador, Embassy of Denmark in Bangladesh, H.E. Alexandra Berg von Linde, Ambassador, Embassy of Sweden in Bangladesh, Ziaur Rahman, Regional Country Manager Production (Bangladesh, Pakistan & Africa), H&M, Dr. Saleemul Huq, Director, ICCCAD and Professor, Independent University of Bangladesh, Bernadette Blom, Director, Good Fashion Fund, Netherlands, Dr. Shahriare Mahmood, Chief Sustainability Officer, Spinnova PLC, Finland, Werner Lange, Coordinator-Textile Cluster, GIZ, Hilde Van Duijn, Head of Global Value Chains, Circle Economy, Netherlands, Micke Magnusson, Entrepreneur in Residence, Enviu, Netherlands, Helene Smits, Chief Sustainability Officer, Recover, Spain, Miran Ali, Vice President, BGMEA and Managing Director, Bitopi Group, Alamgir Morshed, Executive Director & CEO, Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL), Morten Lehmann, CEO & Founder, Tailwind, Denmark, Naser Ezaz Bijoy, CEO, Standard Chartered Bangladesh, Ali Reza Iftekhar, Managing Director & CEO, Eastern Bank Limited, Dr. Vidhura Ralapanawe, Executive Vice President, Epic Group, Ashish Damle, Country Director, Oxfam Bangladesh, Nawshad Mustafa, Deputy General Manager, Bangladesh Bank, Mohamad Anis Agung Nugroho, Programme Manager, Better Work Bangladesh, Dr. Bernd Spanier, Deputy Head of Delegation, Delegation of the European Union in Bangladesh, Kathryn Davis Stevens, Mission Director, USAID Bangladesh, Andrew Martin, Vice President, Membership & Stakeholder Engagement, Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), USA, Ruairidh McCarthy, Head of Partnership Development, WaterAid, UK, Jasmin Malik Chua, Sourcing & Labour Editor, Sourcing Journal and many more.
Event partners are Laudes Foundation, KDS Group, PDS Limited, Epic Group, Noize Jeans, International Labour Organization (ILO)- Better Work Bangladesh, WaterAid Bangladesh, Oxfam in Bangladesh, Ministry of Commerce, U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh, Delegation of the European Union in Bangladesh, Embassy of Denmark in Bangladesh, Embassy of Sweden in Bangladesh, UNIDO, USAID Bangladesh, Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), ICCCAD, IDCOL, GIZ, The Apparel Impact Institute, Good Fashion Fund, Enviu, Fashion for Good, SLCP, Circle Economy, Global Labor Institute, Sourcing Journal USA, H&M Group, Bestseller, YKK Corporation, Spinnova PLC, Standard Chartered, Eastern Bank Limited.
Event exhibitors A&E, YKK, Smartex AI, Recover, Reverse Resources, Agroshift Technologies Ltd., Eurofins, DIFE, Vision Spring, Merchant Bay, Green Bud, Shahjalal Poly and many more.