Friday, 19 August, 2022
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Bridge innovation gap in RMG sector

Innovate, adapt to change, engage in continuous learning, and create new and better ways for your company to be successful. This catchphrase of the corporate world can serve as a wake-up call for the readymade garment industry of Bangladesh! In this era of fast fashion, innovation is proving to be a game-changer in the fashion industry. From designing to manufacturing to marketing of products, the touch of innovation is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity. In this backdrop, it is a cause for concern for Bangladesh RMG industry that in spite of its rapid growth, the sector is still lagging in innovation.

The robust growth of Bangladesh’s RMG industry and boom in export earnings from this sector in the last few decades pleased us all. But the pace of digitization and innovation in the global fashion industry came as an eye-opener that our apparel sector must prepare anew for the next phase in business sustainability.

Consumers’ appetite for fast fashion and increasing competition in the global retail supply chain made the pursuit for innovation all the more important. So, what the stakeholders in RMG sector must realize, and fast, is that the sector’s competitiveness has to be increased to sustain the growth that has been achieved so far as well as to expand market share in future.

Bangladesh has made great strides to compliance issues regarding occupational safety and legal requirements of global trades. But amid growing global competition, the RMG industry, which is one of the mainstays of the country’s economic success story, has to ensure that it is both compliant and competitive. It cannot be a leader in global apparel manufacturing by being a custom-maker – that means only working on designs provided by buyers. Bangladesh’s RMG industry has reached a pivotal point when design development is a must.

The RMG industry’s recent initiatives like setting up of an innovation center, arrangement of trainings for mid-level professionals to workers, and introduction of a new logo aimed at modifying its business strategy has come to our attention. In order to facilitate a transition towards higher level of growth and competency, the sector has to adapt to changing product design through innovation, increase productivity by increasing knowledge and skill of garment workers and diversify its products. Overall, adaptability and continuous drive to modify its business strategy will be the sector’s prosperity in the next decade.