Garment accessories bloom: Bangladesh’s big next scope

As the readymade garment (RMG) industry bloomed in Bangladesh as one of the top exporters in the world – its subsectors and backward linkage industry – the accessories & packaging sector – also grew in mammoth terms. Serving the apparel sector for the last 30 years with much-needed accessories and aid in maintaining the lead time as the delay in carrying out the task amid the scarcity of buttons and other accessories.
Figure 1: Bangladesh has over 1,250 operational accessories factories.
With 1,250 operational accessories factories and over BDT 400 billion investment, the sector even exports $500 million worth of accessories recently. Aiding the RMG industry to attain the 2nd most apparel exporter spot.

The sectors cater to important items like button, zipper, thread, label, pocketing fabric, lining, interlining, elastic, cord, ribbon, rivet, toggle, collarbone, hanger, handtag, polybag, sticker, plastic clip, safety pin, and carton. The local button demand alone stood at $160 million. Accessories manufacturers are also exporting accessories to other garment-producing countries such as Pakistan, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

“The accessories sector’s contribution is huge. The accessories business can meet the local demand. Besides directly exporting $500 million worth accessories in FY2019-20, the sector’s indirect export reached $5 billion.”


The due to fast-changing customer demands – the fashion industry is evolving fast. And it creates a huge impact in fabric manufacturing and the accessories sector. BGAPMEA President stressed the continuous challenges the sector is facing.
“The main challenge for the sector is due to fast fashion, we need to continuously change our technology to meet the new types of fashion demands. For example, if an accessory factory brings a master machine, it becomes obsolete after two years due to that. And most of the accessories factories belong to the SME sector i.e. meaning they do not have sufficient funds to cope up with this demand. Thus accessory factories have to be dependent on banks and financial institutions for loans. Which have a high-interest rate,” added Moazzem Hossain Moti.

“If the accessories sector is given eight-year period term loan with 4% interest rate to replace the machinery – then it will greatly aid the sector and we can certainly keep pace with the era,” he told.
Figure 2: Mohammad Moazzem Hossain Moti, President, BGAPMEA.
“We have always met and talked to govt. high-up and departments regarding our various challenges. Yes, the govt. listens to us, but unlike other leading apparel trade associations – as accessories and packaging manufacturing is not a direct exporting sector our – demands are not fulfilled on a priority basis. Which will be paramount for the accessories sector’s bloom,” Moazzem Hossain Moti added.

The sector, like any other sector, has been hit with the COVID-19 pandemic. And globally freight charge increase has hampered it. Moazzem Hossain Moti elaborated, “These barriers have greatly hampered the accessories and packaging manufacturing sector. If RMG factories cannot bring better prices from foreign brands and buyers, then it ultimately paralyzes the accessories sector.”
“BGMEA, BKMEA, BTMA members get incentive on export. Which is also BGAPMEA’s longtime demand. But we still did not get it. So our plea to the govt. is that they should consider the accessories and packaging sector for incentive and long-term loan facility in reduced interest rate. So that we can sustain the business.”

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