Oxford-led REACH Programme collaborating with the garment industry to help Bangladesh’s poor

Oxford hosts science-industry event to support the development of a sustainable garment industry in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh’s garment industry has played a major role in the country’s recent economic development. The industry now accounts for around three-quarters of foreign export earnings, employs approximately 4 million and is earmarked for further growth: the government plan to double annual revenues to $50 billion by 2021. The growth of the industry has come at the expense of the country’s watercourses, and future expansion will likely but further pressure on the environment. Maintaining healthy rivers necessary to support this growth, while safeguarding water to support other uses such as agriculture and domestic consumption, remains a significant challenge.

The Oxford-led REACH Programme is working to overcome these problems in collaboration with Bangladeshi partners and industry. Last month, REACH participated in a science-industry event at Oxford University’s Begbroke Science Park, with key representatives from the Ready Made Garment (RMG) sector including GAP Inc., Primark, George at Asda, Marks and Spencer, and Tesco. The event sought to identify shared interests between business, the environment and the country’s poor, in order to help realise a more sustainable garment industry.

Further information about the event can be found on the REACH website.

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