Over the last six years, we have surpassed many of our neighbouring countries
Since the Rana Plaza collapse in 2013, the combined efforts of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety and the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety have ensured that workers in the RMG sector are treated with the respect they deserve, and work under conditions which are safe and sustainable.
In addition, the government and our factories have worked together to bring forth environmentally friendly factories and ensure living wages for their employees.
These continued efforts to improve worker safety are no doubt commendable, and should be maintained, and have resulted in more and more of the world entrusting us with catering to their garment needs.
In fact, over the last six years, we have surpassed many of our neighbouring countries. For example, at this point in time, Bangladesh is dominating the denim market, with our RMG sector being the largest exporter of denim products to Europe, surpassing even China.
This success epitomizes how taking care of workers and their needs contributes to the overall longevity and sustainable growth of a sector.
However, the aforementioned progress is not sustainable if international buyers continue to flagrantly disregard the costs of increasing wages and environmentally sustainable factories.
The global market is a highly competitive one and, in such an environment, the compulsion has always been to go to the bidder with the lowest prices -- but international buyers have a duty to do otherwise.
The responsibility now is on stakeholders is to ensure that the ones being benefitted are the ones who are providing for their workers, prioritizing safety, and keeping the environment in mind.