Garments made from denim fabrics are on display at a Denim Expert Limited factory in Chattogram. Bangladesh is the largest supplier of denim products in the world. PHOTO: RAJIB RAIHAN

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Local denim keeps

Garments made from denim fabrics are on display at a Denim Expert Limited factory in Chattogram. Bangladesh is the largest supplier of denim products in the world. PHOTO: RAJIB RAIHAN

Local denim has retained its top spot in US markets despite the ongoing global crisis, with demand for garments made from this widely used fabric surging among US consumers.

Denim shipments from Bangladesh increased by 42.01% year-on-year to $738.70 million between January and September this year. It was $520.16 million in the corresponding period a year earlier, according to data from the United States Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA).

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In the denim segment, Bangladesh conquered European markets in 2017 after overtaking China and overtaking the world’s largest garment exporter in US markets in 2020.

Denim is one of the major items that has shown its true potential for export diversification into apparel. And the piece has proven itself and today, one in three consumers in Europe wears denim pants made in Bangladesh.

In fact, denim has had a strong performance over the past decade thanks to the significant investments made in the sector after local entrepreneurs took notice of the global fashion trends and began to seize the opportunity. Their efforts paid off.

The 40 factories in Bangladesh can produce 80 million meters of denim fabrics per month and the investment in the sector is Tk 16,000 crore. The country’s share in the global denim market is 24.64% and it continues to grow.

From January to September, Mexico came second in the segment of denim exports to the United States. Its exports rose 18.99% year-on-year to $561.38 million.

Pakistan was the third largest supplier, growing 36.63% to $376.95 million, according to OTEXA data.

Vietnam ranked fourth after shipping denim items worth $348.64 million, up 25.12% year-on-year.

China, despite being the largest apparel supplier in the world, is performing poorly in the US market. Between January and September, the country’s denim shipments to the United States rose just 6.12% to $291.45 million.

The ongoing tariff war between the world’s two largest economies has been the main reason for the significant drop in Chinese merchandise exports to the United States, opening up opportunities for garment-producing countries like Bangladesh as orders shift from China to other destinations.

Due to the trade tension, many major US-based retailers and brands have expressed their intention to source more denim from Bangladesh to ensure a stable supply chain, according to Shams Mahmud, Managing Director of Shasha. Denims, one of the greatest denim. article manufacturers.

“If their plans come to fruition, denim shipments to the United States will continue to grow for many years to come.”

He said Bangladesh received many orders for denim products, but most were for low-end products.

Bangladesh is also a preferred supplier for US denim importers, as the country is a champion in setting up green garment factories and adhering to environmental standards.

The United States imported denim fabrics worth $3.24 billion between January and September, registering a 27.78% expansion, according to OTEXA data.

“Although denim shipment trended down in September, October and November, export is expected to turn positive from February as buyer demands are high,” Mohiuddin said. Rubel, director of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association. (BGMEA).

BGMEA Chairman Faruque Hassan lists three significant developments that have taken place in the denim segment in Bangladesh over the past decade.

“A lot of new investments have taken place. Many washing plants equipped with the latest technology have been set up. And there has been the development of great technical know-how in the country,” he said. .

Bangladesh has a huge opportunity to expand its denim exports globally.

The global denim jeans market was estimated at $57.3 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $79.6 billion by 2027, according to a study by Research and Markets, a global research firm.

The denim jeans market in the United States was estimated at $14.2 billion in 2020. China is expected to have a market size of $16.5 billion by 2027.

The denim market in Japan and Canada could grow by 2.6% and 4% respectively between 2020 and 2027, while Germany is expected to grow by 3% over the period, the study adds.