The global textile and apparel or readymade (RMG) industry in 2023 is expecting a mixed environment as a whole. As leading market analytics McKinsey’s report ‘The State of Fashion 2023’ highlights that in 2023 leading markets like the USA will observe a 5% to 10% growth, while the European market fashion sale will remain as it is or see around 3% growth due to the conflict in Ukraine. Most impressive is that the growth in Asia, the Middle East and parts of the Asia Pacific fashion market will log a tremendous boost in 2023.
This positive mixed with caution vibe is depicting an optimistic yet cautious reaction among the textile and apparel manufacturing hubs – especially the world’s second biggest apparel sourcing country – Bangladesh.
Textile Today – a leading RMG and textile industry-focused innovation platform – has talked to leaders from various layers of the textile and apparel value-chain to depict a holistic scenario. Here you will get some forecasts from scholars.
What scholars say
Prof. Dr. Eng. Ayub Nabi Khan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of BGMEA University of Fashion & Technology (BUFT)
2022 was globally challenging for all due to the Russia-Ukraine war, rising inflation and the high price of raw materials. Despite that, we have made good progress and maintained growth.
In 2023, Bangladesh’s textile sector needs to invest in MMF product manufacturing more to increase garment product portfolio.
Similarly, we need to divulge into other promising product categories to strengthen our apparel industry’s robustness. As of today, Bangladesh’s share in the global RMG market is only around 8%. Means, we have a huge untapped prospect.
“I always say that we have to do more research and buildup research capacity to ensure human capital transformation. And prominent textile and apparel universities are focusing on these areas more extensively. Having a comprehensive study in promising fields like textile, fashion, processing, design & development is paramount. This will give our academia and textile industry the scope to identify and work accurately in human development.”
In terms of bringing in new technologies, entrepreneurs must be cautious – as without efficient resource planning – we will not be able to fully utilize existing resources and new technologies. Making a mess of redundancy and infectivity. In the long run, it will also hurt the new tech investment mindset of entrepreneurs. Thus, human resources, as well as, technology resources must be top-notch to reap full benefits.
Prof. Syed Fakhrul Hassan Murad, eminent textile scholar and ex-Chairman, Department of Textile Engineering, Southeast University
Despite many natural challenges and scarcity of resources, Bangladesh is a hopeful nation throughout the course of history rose again with immense potential. In the COVID pandemic times our textile and apparel industry quickly recovered from the initial damages and came back much more robustly with enhanced textile investment and capacity and more RMG exports and creating a silent revolution. Thus, I believe that the year 2023 will also be a good year for our apparel industry with more momentum and growth.
Having said that, we need more investment in garment product diversification – especially in manmade fiber (MMF) manufacturing. As globally, synthetic fiber-made apparel is hugely popular. We are losing retention due to synthetic fiber and fabric import from abroad to produce garments. At present, we have skilled textile engineers and ample textile and apparel universities and technical colleges – who are capable to cater new and innovative fiber and fabric manufacturing.”
In terms of manpower building, our academic institutions have really come far and we also have highly skilled teachers to cater to the industry 4.0 challenges. In addition, the collaboration between academia and industry is also gearing up which is a very good sign for us. Overall, we must keep this skill and efficiency building forward.
As new type of blended fibers, MMF or innovative fiber-based apparel manufacturing needs huge investment – we can always welcome foreign investment. For instance, Chinese investors are really interested in investing in Bangladesh. We can provide policy support in our Economic Zones to bring in new investments and technology.