Global buyers start sourcing high-end local denim products
14 March 2016, Nirapad News: Long known for cheap and basic garment production, Bangladesh is now drawing the attention of global buyers for high-end items, especially in denim segment.
Global brands, though on a small scale, have started exploring the sourcing potentials of handloom denim fabrics dyed with natural indigo from Bangladesh.
In recent years, a few companies, including Living Blue, have started cultivating natural indigo in Nilfamari and Rangpur and this indigo is mainly used in dying high-quality, handmade products for high-end and luxury markets.
Hessnatur, one of the oldest sustainable fashion companies in Germany founded in 1976, is among the buyers that are currently working with a local company to produce hand-woven indigo denim fabric.
Natural indigo is growing better in Bangladesh compared with other countries, Sven Bergmann of Hessnatur Corporate Communication told the FE recently.
The company is working on an 18-month project with Living Blue and CHP (Classical Handmade Products BD) for sourcing high quality, hand-made denim jeans, he added.
“We have been working exclusively for the last one year in this project, if it goes successfully, we will go for long-term business,” he mentioned.
The annual turnover of Hessnatur that creates natural clothing, most of which is organic cotton, wool, linen or silk for niche market, is around 70 million euro.
Mr Bergmann spoke about their latest project: a new ecological jeans production in Bangladesh with a group of Bangladeshi journalists who visited a Hessnatur store in Berlin on March 02.
Denim made on handlooms is softer than mill-made denim, has a unique texture and breathes well and helps feel cool in summer and retain body warmth in winter, according to industry insiders.
Tauhid Bin Abdus Salam, proprietor of CHP, said his company signed an agreement with Hessnatur in early 2015 for supplying 3,000 metres of handloom selvedge denim fabric.
Denim fabric with self-binding edges on both ends, running along the complete length of the fabric, is known as selvedge denim.
The dying part has been done by Living Blue-a local company that produces natural indigo.
After cutting and collection of Indigo leaves, they are soaked in a tank to produce an oxidised slurry, which is later boiled, sun-dried and made into vats, Mishael Aziz Ahmad, manager of Living Blue, said explaining the natural indigo production process.
“Organic cotton and natural indigo dye are being used for producing the handloom denim fabric for Hessantur,” Tauhid said adding though sampling development part is done outside Bangladesh, there is a possibility of stitching the finished products locally.