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DHAKA – Government ministers and advisors, the European Union, UN bodies, brands, global fashion campaigners, brands, manufacturers and industry leaders will rub shoulders at one of the most influential line-ups ever gathered for a global textile conference in May. The Sustainable Apparel Forum takes place in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on 10 May 2022.

For years, there has been talk of how our industry can bring about real change. One thing most agree on is the need to get government representatives, fashion leaders and other stakeholders in the same place at the same time. What better place to do that than Bangladesh – the second largest garment exporting hub in the world.

This year’s SAF, the third such event, aims to establish Bangladesh as the world’s most responsible apparel sourcing destination, which is why senior government representatives will be speaking and in attendance thrashing out what needs to be done to take Bangladesh garment production to the next level.

Senior representatives from globally renowned recycling and renewable energy companies will also be in attendance as well as exhibit their sustainability and green technologies, products and solutions under the same roof.

The SAF will showcase opportunities for much-needed green financing in the industry.

Issues under the spotlight will include climate action, environmental social & governance (ESG) and green finance, purchasing practices, circular economy, and regulatory reforms.

In fact, in all the event will provide a platform for more than 50 world class speakers as well as 20 green growth technology exhibitors, with 20 countries represented.

Mostafiz Uddin, the founder of the SAF told Apparel Insider: “With SAF 2022, we wanted to curate an event where key global industry influencers could gather and provide a catalyst for genuine industry change. This is high-level networking with a specific goal in mind: how can we turn the needle so that the lofty sustainability goals our industry so often talks about are translated into meaningful, practical actions?”

“We’ve gathered fashion and finance, government and key multi-stakeholder initiatives, technology and worker rights groups. We intend to raise the bar in a serious way”, he added.

“There will also be a full post-event de-briefing, with guidance and discussion on event outcomes and potential future actions.”

Speakers of the SAF include Dr Tawfiq-e-elahi Chowdhury, Bir Bikrom, adviser to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh on power, energy and mineral resources; Salman F Rahman, MP, adviser to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh on private industry & investment; Tipu Munshi, MP, commerce minister of Bangladesh; Begum Monnujan Sufian, MP, state minister for labor and employment of Bangladesh; Saber Hossain Chowdhury, MP, chairman of parliamentary standing committee on ministry of environment, forest and climate change of Bangladesh; Anna Athanasopoulou, head of unit for social economy & creative industries European Commission; Barbara Bijelic, financial sector and regulatory engagement lead centre for responsible business conduct, OECD;  Lindita Xhaferi-Salihu, sectors engagement lead, UNFCCC; Pascal Brun, head of Sustainability, H&M, Hendrik Alpen, global head of stakeholder engagement & social impact, H&M Group, Kim Hellström, head of green investment Supply Chain, H&M Group; Javier Santonja Olcina,  regional head, Bangladesh & Pakistan, Inditex; Faruque Hassan, president, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BGMEA); Dr Mark Anner, founding director, Center for Global Workers’ Rights and also professor, Penn State University, USA; Ayesha Barenblat, founder and CEO, Remake;  Najet Draper, vice president research, Better Buying; and  Tuomo Poutiainen,  country director, Bangladesh, ILO.

The Embassy of the Netherlands in Bangladesh is title sponsoring the 3rd SAF. Pacific Jeans, Cotton USA and KDS are platinum sponsors; Epic, Laudes Foundation, Higg and H&M are gold sponsors; while Better Work Bangladesh is silver sponsor of the event.

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