With an increased number of orders from international buyers, Bangladesh is graduating from basic garment production to high-end products. The manufacturers are taking orders from the renowned fashion brands worldwide, industry insiders said.
There are signs of the local garment makers gradually shifting to high-end products, because they can now choose from abundant orders. Earlier, the manufacturers had limited scope for bargaining as the buyers' orders were tight.
Fashion is always changing and clothing brands have to change to survive to keep up with the latest fashion trends and designs, because people love to wear the latest fashion and purchase the trendiest outfit.
Demand for high-end garment items is higher because of their combination of great designs, flawless craftsmanship, high quality and meticulous attention to details, experts said.
Sector people said high-end products take up at least 20 percent of the total exports of garment products from Bangladesh, and the percentage is increasing.
But many manufacturers are not aware that they are exporting the garment items to some world-class fashion brands as the buyers always put pressure for lower prices.
They said many producers do not know their products are going to a high-valued clothing brand store as they are not selling the products directly, and they also lack negotiation skills.
Bangladesh is still a popular spot for low-priced basic garment items thanks to cheap labour.
Bangladesh's competing countries are shifting their focus to high-end garments, which is a blessing for local manufacturers.
The buyers are flocking to Bangladesh as China, the largest supplier of apparel items worldwide, has higher cost of production.
"As a result, some garment manufacturers, especially big groups are going for high-end production from the basic garment items," said Asif Zahir, a director of Ananta Group, a leading garment group.
He said his group is also setting up a plant at Adamjee Export Processing Zone to produce high-end male suit from next June. "Manufacturers need a lot of investments in machinery, technologies and in quality improvement to produce high-end garment items," he said.
Some of the high-end fashion brands like Puma, Tommy Hilfiger, G-Star, Diesel, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, DKNY, Nike, Benetton and Mango have been outsourcing garment products from Bangladesh over the last few years.
Hugo Boss and Adidas are also coming here to outsource high quality garment items from Bangladesh, industry people said.
China, Hong Kong and Turkey were favourite destinations for high-end clothing items to the international buyers, but apparel companies and retailers are already feeling the pinch from higher wages in China and shifting to countries like Bangladesh.
Shakhawat Hossain, chairman of Paramount Textiles, said his group has been supplying fabrics to some world-renowned clothing brands over the years.
"My group supplies fabrics to Hugo Boss, Austin Reed, C and A, Massimo Dutti, Marks and Spencer and Yamaki of Japan, some high-end clothing brands worldwide," he said.