T-shirts set the stage to diversify RMG’s export basket

The start of exporting T-shirts from Bangladesh has been considered a milestone in the history of garment manufacturing as it helped the country expand the product base.

In particular, a group of hosiery manufacturers based in Narayanganj, which produced men’s vests for domestic markets, ventured to explore overseas markets in the late 1980s and it worked.

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In the early days of Bangladesh’s foray into the global apparel market four and a half decades ago, the country’s apparel exports depended on the quota system. At that time, t-shirts played a vital role as vest manufacturers started exporting to European countries due to increased demand especially among expatriate Bangladeshis.

As soft and comfortable T-shirts made from cotton fiber were in high demand, local manufacturers began shipping in large quantities and in many varieties.

Today, t-shirts are the second most exported item from Bangladesh.

T-shirt shipping revenue was $7.15 billion in the last fiscal year, accounting for 23.11% of total apparel exports of $42.61 billion, according to data from Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

Revenue was $7.23 billion in 2020-21 and $6.27 billion in 2019-20. European countries such as Germany, UK, Netherlands, France and Spain are the main export destinations for T-shirts.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, when the global supply chain was severely disrupted, the shipment of T-shirts compensated for the slowdown in overall exports, as demand for knitted items increased significantly in Europe and the United States. United as consumers are confined to their homes due to the deadly virus.

Now, local entrepreneurs are investing heavily in the production of fashionable high-end sportswear and t-shirts to boost exports.

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