This year’s SAF promises to be the largest yet. "The title for this year’s Sustainable Apparel Forum is enabling sustainability through policy and leadership. The time for talking on sustainability issues is over. It is now time for actions. That’s why the focus of this year’s show is on practical, pragmatic actions the textile industry can adopt to improve its environmental footprint,” said Mostafiz Uddin, founder, Bangladesh Apparel Exchange. Uddin was recently featured by Time Magazine as a game changer in the apparel sector in Bangladesh.
This will be an international convening to discuss Bangladesh’s actions to be a key player to make sustainable apparel industry a reality. Based on the convening, a series of recommendations will be made, and a sustainability roadmap for the Bangladesh apparel industry will be formulated.
SAF will see more than 50 speakers gathered from Bangladesh and overseas sharing expert opinions across five panel discussions covering current issues in the country’s apparel industry. These include human resources, transparency in business, water conservation, purchasing practices and climate change. Additionally, the conference will host several knowledge building technical presentations from renowned organisations which will cover different issues relating to sustainability, including waste management, protection of the environment and better working conditions.
The second SAF is going to be organised by Bangladesh Apparel Exchange where Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers’ and Exporters’ Association is the co-organiser. The Embassy of Netherlands is the title sponsor of the event while H&M is ‘In Association With’ partner and Better Work Bangladesh and C&A Foundation are partners in the event.
The conference will be followed by showcasing different innovative, sustainable and good work practices in RMG manufacturing factories in Bangladesh.
Speakers at the forum include: Tipu Munshi, MP, commerce minister, Bangladesh; Dr. Tawfiq-E-Elahi Chowdhury, energy adviser to prime minister Bangladesh; Shahriar Alam, MP, state minister, ministry of foreign affairs, Bangladesh; Benoit Pre´fonatine high commissioner, high commission of Canada to Bangladesh; Harry Verweij, ambassador of Netherlands to Bangladesh; Winnie Estrup Petersen, ambassador of Denmark to Bangladesh; Charlotta Schlyter, ambassador of Sweden to Bangladesh.
Industry experts speaking at the forum amongst others are: Dr. Rubana Huq, president, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers’ and Exporters’ Association; Sheikh Fazle Fahim, president, Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce & Industries; Han Bekke, president, International Apparel Federation (IAF); Jill Tucker, head of labour rights programme, C&A Foundation; Pierre Börjesson, head of sustainability – global production, H&M Group; Tuomo Poutiainen, country director, International Labor Organization; Peter McCallister, executive director, Ethical Trading Initiative.
Prior to this year’s forum, the Embassy of Netherlands and Sweden Embassy in Bangladesh will also co-host two roundtable discussions.
Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE) is a non-profit organisation established to promote the apparel industry of Bangladesh. The BAE offers a platform for the exchange of knowledge and expertise, combined with best working practices. The BAE is the largest private apparel initiative of Bangladesh – the second largest apparel exporting country in the world. The BAE aims to enable Bangladesh to progress as a responsible sourcing destination on the global map through promotion of sustainability, innovation, technology and transparency in the industry.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) is one of the largest trade associations in the country representing the readymade garment industry, particularly the woven garments, knitwear and sweater sub-sectors with equal importance. BGMEA is dedicated to promote and facilitate the apparel industry of Bangladesh through policy advocacy to the government, services to members, ensuring workers’ rights and social compliance at factories.
C&A Foundation is a corporate foundation in Bangladesh to transform the fashion industry. They work with change-makers all over the world, offering financial support, expertise and networks to make the industry work better for every person it touches.
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