The global media has painted a negative image of Bangladesh’s garments industry in the wake of the Rana Plaza tragedy. However, many people don’t know that Bangladesh is now at the forefront of ethical manufacturing and ensuring safety for its workers.
In this article, we will explore how Bangladesh is leading the way in sustainable and ethical garments manufacturing and why this country should be at the top of your list when sourcing manufacturing partners.
The Rana Plaza Tragedy
In April 2013, the Rana Plaza commercial building in Bangladesh collapsed, killing over 1,100 people and injuring 2,500 more. The building housed several garment factories, and the tragedy brought to light the often-precarious working conditions of Bangladeshi garment workers.
In the aftermath of the disaster, international retailers who sourced garments from the factories in Rana Plaza faced intense scrutiny. As a result, many brands severed ties with Bangladeshi manufacturers.
However, Bangladesh’s $34 billion garment industry fought back instead of giving up. Following the tragedy, Bangladesh has significantly improved worker safety and labor rights.
Bangladesh at the Forefront of Ethical Manufacturing
Today, Bangladesh is once again becoming a top destination for garment manufacturing. Bangladesh is the world’s second largest exporter of garments, after only China.
This resurgence is largely due to the country’s focus on sustainable and ethical manufacturing practices.
Since the Rana Plaza tragedy, Bangladesh has implemented several great initiatives to improve worker safety, such as mandatory fire and building safety inspections and creating a national database of registered factories.
Furthermore, Bangladesh is also leading the way in sustainability initiatives within the garment industry. For example, Bangladesh is home to the world’s largest LEED-certified factories.
LEED Certified and Green Garments Initiatives
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a certification system that rates the sustainability of buildings on a scale of platinum, gold, silver, and certified.
Having guidelines for developing sustainable buildings worldwide, LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance according to what project managers have achieved.
Disadvantage of LEED
Factories being LEED-certified cost more money to build and operate. Sustainable building practices, such as using energy-efficient lighting or installing solar panels, typically cost more than traditional methods.
Being in compliance with regulations and standards related to the environment is an additional investment when building factories. However, over time, these extra costs are typically offset by savings in energy and water bills.
The Current Snapshot of Bangladesh
Nowadays, Bangladesh has the highest number of green garment factories. This means that working with a Bangladeshi manufacturer could help your brand meet its sustainability goals.
Furthermore, Bangladesh is known for producing high-quality garments at a lower cost than many other countries. If you’re looking to source ethically-made garments on a budget, Bangladesh should definitely be considered.
From its world-leading LEED-certified factories to its commitment to worker safety, it’s clear that Bangladesh is leading the way in sustainable and ethical manufacturing.
A Focus on Ethical Fashion
With higher-quality Bangladeshi garments, the country strives to improve its image in the international market and become a top destination for sustainable fashion brands.
As more and more brands look to source sustainably-made garments, Bangladesh is also well-positioned to become a go-to supplier for ethical fashion. With its commitment to worker safety, sustainability, and quality, Bangladesh is leading the way in ethical fashion manufacturing.
Working With Certified Factories
Finding a supplier that only works with certified factories provides many advantages to those looking to source their garments sustainably and ethically.
Some of the advantages include:
- International sustainability and worker safety standards: You can ensure that the factory meets international sustainability and worker safety standards. For example, worker safety is a top priority for Bangladesh, and the country has made great strides in improving factory conditions, and a great supplier can help ensure this.
- Previous work with certified factories: The supplier has a proven track record of working with certified factories. This means they have the experience and expertise to help you find the right factory for your needs. If this isn’t present and the supplier works with a range of substandard factories, the whole process of trying to source your garments sustainably and ethically could be at risk.
- Regularly audited: You can be sure that the factory is regularly audited to ensure compliance with standards. Audits are an essential part of the certification process and help ensure that factories are continuously meeting the required standards.
- Factories matched to needs and requirements: The supplier can help you find the right factory for your needs, based on their experience and expertise. With their knowledge of the industry, they’ll be able to match you with a factory that meets your specific needs and requirements.
- Constant support and guidance: The supplier can provide you with support and guidance throughout the sourcing process. They’ll be able to offer advice on everything from choosing the right factory to ensuring that your garments are produced in a sustainable and ethical way.
When sourcing your garments from Bangladesh, ask your supplier about which factories they work with. If they cannot provide you with this information, it may be best to look for another supplier more transparent about their manufacturing process.
Alternatively, you can reduce the time spent sourcing by working with a supplier that only works with certified factories, such as OloBird. OloBird is a leading supplier of sustainable and ethical garments, and all the factories they work with are certified. This means you can be sure that your garments are being sourced from a supplier committed to sustainability, worker safety, and fair wages.
OloBird is B Corp certified. This means they meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability when dealing with their employees, customers, and the environment. The combination of their ethical values and experience in the industry makes them the perfect partner for those looking to source their garments sustainably and ethically.
Bangladesh should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for a supplier of sustainable and ethical garments. With its commitment to worker safety, sustainability, and quality, Bangladesh is leading the way in ethical fashion manufacturing.
For more information about OloBird and the factories we work with, visit our homepage or contact us today. We are happy to answer any of your questions and help you find the perfect supplier for your sustainable and ethical garments.