Bangladesh is the second largest exporter of denim after China and it hopes to make four or five denim items for the European market by 2020. The number of denim makers in Bangladesh may go up to 30 by the year-end as demand for denim wear is on the rise worldwide. Currently, Bangladesh produces 20 million yards of denim a month against a monthly demand for 40 million yards.
However, Bangladesh has problems of capacity expansion. Some entrepreneurs cannot set up new denim mills or expand their existing capacities due to the high bank interest rates and inadequate gas and power supplies. International buyers are shifting orders from other countries like China to Bangladesh for price competitiveness but domestic units can’t cope with the high volume of orders. Even units producing nine lakh yards of the fabric a month are stretched to handle the orders from international retailers.
Faced with such potential, Bangladesh will hold its first denim exhibition, in March, at Dhaka. Bangladesh now exports jeans and other denim products worth at least 3.5 billion dollars a year to the US and EU markets. Fashion denims which use Lycra and spandex fibers are now being produced in the country and the industry is going for value-added dyeing and finishing in denims with laser applications, replacing the age-old sand blasting.