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April 28, 2022

Third Sustainable Apparel Forum to be hosted in Bangladesh in May

The third annual Sustainable Apparel Forum (SAF) will be held in Dhaka Bangladesh on 10 May and will centre around establishing Bangladesh as the world’s most responsible apparel sourcing destination. 

By Hannah Abdulla

The Sustainable Apparel Forum (SAF) will feature senior government representatives, representatives of the EU, UN bodies, global brands, fashion campaigners, manufacturers and industry leaders.

The SAF will showcase opportunities for much-needed green financing in the industry.

Issues under the spotlight will include climate action, environmental social & governance (ESG) and green finance, purchasing practices, circular economy, and regulatory reforms.

Senior representatives from globally renowned recycling and renewable energy companies will also be in attendance as well as exhibit their sustainability and green technologies, products and solutions under the same roof.

The title sponsor of the Sustainable Apparel Forum is the Embassy of the Netherlands in Bangladesh. Pacific Jeans, Cotton USA and KDS are platinum sponsors; Epic, Laudes Foundation, Higg and H&M are gold sponsors; while Better Work Bangladesh is silver sponsor of the event.

Speakers of the Sustainable Apparel Forum include:

  • Dr Tawfiq-e-elahi Chowdhury, Bir Bikrom, adviser to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh on power, energy and mineral resources;
  • Salman F Rahman, MP, adviser to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh on private industry & investment;
  • Tipu Munshi, MP, commerce minister of Bangladesh;
  • Begum Monnujan Sufian, MP, state minister for labor and employment of Bangladesh;
  • Saber Hossain Chowdhury, MP, chairman of parliamentary standing committee on ministry of environment, forest and climate change of Bangladesh;
  • Anna Athanasopoulou, head of unit for social economy & creative industries European Commission; 
  • Barbara Bijelic, financial sector and regulatory engagement lead centre for responsible business conduct, OECD;
  • Lindita Xhaferi-Salihu, sectors engagement lead, UNFCCC;
  • Gagan Bansal, global material innovation & strategy manager, H&M;
  • Javier Santonja Olcina,  regional head, Bangladesh & Pakistan, Inditex;
  • Faruque Hassan, president, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BGMEA);
  • Dr Mark Anner, founding director, Center for Global Workers’ Rights and also professor, Penn State University, USA;
  • Ayesha Barenblat, founder and CEO, Remake; 
  • Najet Draper, vice president research, Better Buying;
  • Tuomo Poutiainen,  country director, Bangladesh, ILO.

The event will provide a platform for more than 50 world-class speakers as well as 20 green growth technology exhibitors, with 20 countries represented.

Mostafiz Uddin, the founder of the SAF said: “With Sustainable Apparel Forum 2022, we wanted to curate an event where key global industry influencers could gather and provide a catalyst for genuine industry change. This is high-level networking with a specific goal in mind: how can we turn the needle so that the lofty sustainability goals our industry so often talks about are translated into meaningful, practical actions?”

“We’ve gathered fashion and finance, government and key multi-stakeholder initiatives, technology and worker rights groups. We intend to raise the bar in a serious way”, he added.

“There will also be a full post-event de-briefing, with guidance and discussion on event outcomes and potential future actions,” he also said.

The event will coincide with the Bangladesh Denim Expo which returns after a two-year hiatus as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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