Shelsham Trading and Co ltd is one of the pioneer sourcing companies in Bangladesh. They have been supporting our country’s economy for the long time. Shakhawat Hossain is the country Manager of this Sourcing Company. Mr shakhwat is a dynamic leader and visionary person both in the Textile- Apparel Industry and Social Life. He is the Vice President of Institution of Textile Engineers and Technologists (ITET). Recently Mr. Shakhawat talked with Team Denim Focus and shared his views about industry during the ongoing pandemic. The conversation is drafted below.
How do you see the current crisis moment of Textile Industry?
At this moment the global textile industry is indeed facing a crisis as well as Bangladesh. But still, Bangladesh’s jersey sector is free from crisis and woven sector is still surviving. Though the data are saying that the woven sector is being the same for 2019 & 2020, as the export is the same for both years. But we can see that the capacity has increased in this sector and still, we have scopes. The market scenario of Europe & America has been developing and so we can say that within 2-3 month, we will get more order. Another opportunity for BD is due to the COVID-19 situations of India & Myanmar, both countries are not being able to stable in the industry. On the other hand, if the COVID-19 situation of BD remains in control for BD, hopefully, we will be able to achieve a good result.
How is your company contributing to the development of Textile Industry?
We are one of the pioneers of the textile business, industry, especially in BD. Our Managing Director has started the textile business a long time ago but he started the textile business with Bangladesh since the Riaz Garments. So he has a long experience with the textile industry and as well as Bangladesh. We opened this office in 1995, we have been running our business successfully for last 25 year. Our growth rate is being very solid, there are no ups & downs. As we don’t work with so many factories. We only work with selective factories, but continuously like a partner. Our main target is the UK, but we consider Germany & Italy as well. 2020 was very tough for us as we faced locked down for the first time & all. But 2021 is speaking well for us. Our products range started from children and ladies item and now covering all sort of clothing such as denim, jackets, shirts, wash garments. We have a variety of products and also a strong supply chain that covers all sorts of products. The product range is very big & variety full.
How are you maintaining sustainability in your company?
We are working for sustainability especially for the denim sector, we are maintaining the EIM score in the development impact that defines how much impact we are making to our denim products. Denim washing is quite harmful to the environment but we are using environmentally friendly chemicals and 90% of our products are almost green category. Our factories are also working to maintain sustainability – using an energy-saving motor, using energy-saving lights, using a lower liquor ratio for washing. We are also sourcing sustainable raw materials — using BCI cotton & recycled polyester fibers. In terms of other fibers, we are also asking for FCC certification. As we intend to reach sustainably by 2022, we are progressing towards our focus, very well.
How do you see the Denim Market?
Denim a very durable product that can be wearable by all genders at any age. Started from jeans to ladies item, it has a variety of products. Bangladesh has been one of the largest sources of global denim, as we can do denim washing very well. As denim washing is quite harmful to the environment, other counties are imposing various laws on denim washing. As a result denim washing is quite expensive there, while we can do it at a very low cost. Our government should also set some strict laws so that we can do denim washing being more careful with our environment and do not destroy the future of our next generation. Bangladesh is doing very well in denim washing and will be continuing to do so. We have done a lot of growth in this sector due to the high demand and also have a lot of denim suppliers right now. But, at the same time, we (the Government, various NGOs, the manufacturers, the customers) have to be extremely careful with our environment.
As a country manager, What is your future plan?
Once the covid-19 situation settles, I believe that Bangladesh will be a global destination for all the customers, manufacturers, and also others as Bangladesh can satisfy the global demand. Additionally, I would say that Bangladesh is one of the safest garments industry (from my perspective number 1) in the world. We have a lot of green factories as well. After the accord alliance, the audit &, etc, our building safety, fire safety, other safety issues, environmental impact, the in-house working environment have improved quite a lot. We have the capacity, the labor, and the infrastructure, with some little disadvantages like the port situation & others. But still, I believe BD will play as a good player in the global apparel market. Talking about our company’s plan — We source around US 100$ Million garments from Bangladesh. We intend to increase that limit, but the current situation is not helping. In this current pandemic situation, if any company can maintain the same growth, I think that is a great achievement. Defiantly, our target is to increase our growth. But it depends on the global textile market. Hopefully, within 2-3 months, the global market scenario will improve, the demand will increase and BD will be able to grab the opportunities.
What would you like to say about the Price Negotiation Between the buyer & the manufacturers?
Price negotiation in this sector is highly competitive. Buyers will always try to provide less money, on the other hand, the manufacturers need to perform. This challenge & competition has always been there and are very tough. I have been watching this for the last 22 years. I have never seen that any buyer will come and say that he wants to pay more. It depends on the company’s performance, manufacturing plan, etc. But by doing the basic products, we cannot increase the price. We have to move for fashionable & value-added products. Then we can see the profit. The way the price is doing done, it is not profitable to do the basic accessories anymore. In terms of the demand for compliance and other safety issues, we have to perform those for our workers. On the other hand, it has to be a win-win situation for both parties.