IAF successfully held its 37th World Fashion Convention in Dhaka from Saturday, November 12 up to Wednesday, November 16. It brought together close to 300 delegates from 15 countries and was organized together with the Bangladeshi apparel industry associations BGMEA and BKMEA. The IAF Convention was held intertwined with the BGMEA’s Made in Bangladesh Week allowing garment industry delegates to attend a week full of events.
United by the convention’s theme of ‘Transforming the Industry Together’, speakers discussed methods of supply chain collaboration, climate action and financing, EU sustainability legislation, education and technology and raw material trends. In his opening speech, IAF President Cem Altan explained the convention’s theme and said that “The major challenges of our industry today can only realistically be met when there is true collaboration between buyers and the manufacturers.” However, he continued to say that this collaboration is still far from being the norm. “Instead of collaboration, we often see that necessary investments are pushed up into the supply chain and that flexibility is created by letting supply chains act as crumbling zones, catching the blows of uncertain demand”.
The IAF World Fashion Convention started with the traditional golf tournament sponsored by IAF’s partner American & Efird. The conference was sponsored by IAF’s partners Veit, Dubai Global Connect and The Industry We Want. The conference was followed by the gala dinner, which saw a major group of Bangladeshi manufacturers and international guests network against a unique Dhaka garden setting. BGMEA and BKMEA presented IAF with a spectacular laser show to celebrate the IAF’s 50th birthday.
Alongside BGMEA President Faruque Hassan, IAF President Cem Altan spoke at the inauguration of the Made in Bangladesh Week by Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. In his speech addressing the Prime Minister, Cem Altan highlighted the collaboration of IAF and its Bangladesh members, stating that: “The strong and eloquent voice of BGMEA and BKMEA combined with the worldwide reach of IAF has in the past two years created a strong global apparel manufacturing voice.
Delegates to the IAF Convention then were able to attend the Made in Bangladesh Week activities which included the Dhaka Apparel Summit, the Dhaka Apparel Expo, and the Bangladesh Denim Expo. Moreover, BGMEA and BKMEA had arranged an excellent program of factory visits. All in all, it was a knowledge and networking-packed week worthy of the 2nd largest apparel-exporting nation in the world.