The apparel industry is undergoing a revolution which is termed as apparel 4.0. It can be explained as the digitization of textile and apparel industry processes, from concept to post retail, with the help of the latest technology such as IoT, AI, and Cloud Computing, enabling companies to monitor and automate the entire production process with complete supply chain transparency.

This revelation comes to Bangladesh at an opportune time. The second-largest exporter of apparel goods is facing a challenging period. Last year, Bangladesh saw a massive rise of 51 percent in minimum wages. This particularly affected the RMG industry where the majority of workers work at minimum wage. The labour-intensive industry took a hit and scores of factories closed down. However, this also leads to an interesting opportunity for RMG manufacturers.

The RMG manufacturers of Bangladesh have always been skeptical of replacing their low-cost labour with expensive technology. However, with labour costs now longer low, the RMG industry is readily turning to technology to reduce manual dependency and increase their productivity.

According to Bangladesh Garments Accessories and Packaging Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (BGAPMEA), every year around 100 new factories are beginning operation and are using advanced technology in the entire apparel-making process. Furthermore, these new factories also maintain compliance and factory rules and regulations strictly. Approximately 250 factories in the country are fulfilling orders with the use of the latest technology and machinery. The use of advanced technology assists in cutting down production costs significantly and has a spill-over benefit in terms of higher productivity and lead time reduction.

Coats, the world’s leading industrial thread manufacturer launched its technology division, Coats Digital, at the most poised time for Bangladesh. Coats Digital brings together globally recognized solutions– Fast React, GSD and ThreadSol (intelloCut & intelloBuy) under one brand to provide a one-stop-shop for Bangladesh RMG manufacturers.

Coats Digital solutions are focused on enhancing the manufacturing value chain from design and development, through costing, to fabric buying, planning and order execution. They allow manufacturers to respond quickly and efficiently to the buyer’s demands.

Speaking about the plans for Bangladesh, Managing Director (Coats Digital), Keith Fenner says, “Bangladesh is a key focus in Coats Digital’s growth strategy. The RMG industry in Bangladesh has seen tremendous growth despite low technology penetration. The industry is now at an exciting stage in terms of technology as more and more manufacturers move from traditional methods to automation. Coats Digital combines deep industry expertise with the practical application of the latest technology, enabling manufacturers to manage costs and reduce lead time.” Coats Digital solutions are currently being used in over 50 factories in Bangladesh, including Epyllion, Pacific Jeans, Dekko Designs, Fakir Fashion, and Ananta.