Exports of synthetic footwear and sports shoes from Bangladesh grew 20 per cent in the past five years. From July to October of this fiscal, export earnings from non-leather footwear shipments were four per cent compared to the same period in fiscal year 2020-21. The industry’s annual export earnings gained 41 per cent last year compared to fiscal year 2017-18. The industry's annual export earnings had reached $344.46 million last year, compared to $244.09 million in FY2017-18, shows data from the Export Promotion Bureau.
Growth in shipments is due to increasing work orders from international buyers. The quality and reasonable prices of synthetic shoes made in Bangladesh have helped its exports thrive. And since the potential of the non-leather footwear sector is high, it goes head to head with garments as the country’s leading export earner. But even though the making of synthetic footwear is now a major industry, very few large-scale companies have shown any interest in it. So, considering the industry’s potential for growth, more professional and structured companies could do very well in this business.
Non-leather footwear now has greater export potential than leather shoes. As such, synthetic footwear makers performed well even amid the ongoing pandemic. The shift in demand from traditional leather shoes to non-leather or synthetic footwear is mostly due to the growing appetite from younger generations in the world.