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Ralph Lauren resumes sourcing from BD

'It's a very good news for the industry'

MONIRA MUNNI | November 18, 2019 00:00:00

Ralph Lauren, one of the world's largest fashion brands, has resumed sourcing from Bangladesh with reopening its office here in Dhaka, sources said.

The American company stopped sourcing garment items from Bangladesh after the Rana Plaza building collapse in 2013 that killed more than 1,100 people, mostly garment workers.

The company opened its office few months back while it announced 'Ralph Lauren Bangladesh Sourcing' formally at a ceremony in the city on Sunday.

When asked, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president Dr Rubana Huq said: "It's a very good news for the industry."

The company that imports products worth US$ 7.0 billion from across the globe has resumed its operation here after substantial progress made to improve workplace safety in the country's readymade garment (RMG) industry, she said.

Appreciating the company's re-launching, she said that it was great to have them back at a time when the BGMEA focuses on improving infrastructure and environmental protection.

Ralph Lauren is a high-end buyer and locally made polo shirt is one of their big sourcing items, said Fazlul Hoque, former president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA).

The company's coming back to source from the country is a very positive indication of improvements that has taken place in the industry, he said.

Though the company might not import huge quantity from Bangladesh, the impact would be huge as it is a big brand, he noted, adding that resuming operation in Bangladesh would also help branding the image of the country and the industry.

Sources said the US based buyer used to source from the country through third party.

It is expected that being the high-end brand, it would offer good price for locally made apparel items.

Ralph Lauren is well known for the clothing, marketing and distribution of products in four categories (apparel, home, accessories, and fragrances), and manufactures products ranging from the mid-range to the luxury segments.

Its brands included the mid-range Chaps brand, to the sub-premium Lauren Ralph Lauren brand, to the premium Polo Ralph Lauren, Double RL, Ralph Lauren Children's wear, Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren, and Club Monaco brands, up to the full luxury Ralph Lauren Purple Label and Ralph Lauren Collection brands.

Bangladesh fetched US$ 34.13 billion from RMG exports in the last fiscal year which was $24.49 billion in fiscal year of 2013-14, according to official data.

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