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DHAKA – A leading Bangladeshi textile mill has called out Western buyers for refusing to pay more for sustainably sourced production. The factory is one of 67 green garment factories to have obtained the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the US Green Building Council (USGBC), with over 300 more are waiting to be certified. Yet it is claimed Western buyers are not prepared to pay even ‘one cent’ more for green production.

While talking at a meeting on green compliance at the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) in Dhaka, KM Rezaul Hasanat, CEO of Viyellatex Group said: “The cost of setting up a garment unit went up by a third in case of a green factory. We could have invested the extra money to employ a one-third more workers.

“Bangladesh is naturally green and the products we make here are also naturally green. I regret that I have set up green garment factories. The buyers do not want to pay even a single cent more for sourcing from a green garment factory.”

Established in 1996, knit apparel manufacturer Viyellatex is a vertically integrated business which employs 15,000 people. It boasts a range of accreditations including Oeko-Tex 100, GOTs scope by Control Union certifications and the ISO 14001:2004 Environment Management System.

The meeting also noted that currently, 1,700 factories are running effluent treatment plants (ETPs) in their textile factories (although how many of these are in use is another matter). It was announced that the Department of Environment (DoE) will start monitoring of the operations of the ETPs online in 500 factories to obtain better results from the plants.

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