IMPLEMENTING SUSTAINABILITY PRACTICES: CHALLENGES IN BANGLADESHI GARMENT INDUSTRY
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Human activities have had a significant influence on global business with sustainable development challenges in the social, environmental and economic context of businesses. As an important part of the global garment industry, Bangladesh also has many more challenges in terms of sustainability. Though a significant percentage of GDP growth of Bangladesh is contributed by the garment sector, it has some loopholes with respect to social and environmental issues. This research reviews existing literature on supply chain, sustainable supply chain, sustainable development implementation and practices. It specially focuses on the garment industry in Bangladesh. However, the purpose of this research is to apply the dimensions of the sustainability supply chain implementation and underpin the practices. It has developed a definition and conceptual framework with constructive viewpoint and also this study presents the exploratory case study based research and empirical contributions in the sustainable supply chain practice and evaluation of sustainable implementation in social issues such as workers’ health and safety, wages issues, environmental issues like as hazards pollution prevention and treatment; as well as evaluation and suggestions for improvement in sustainability within the garment industry. The research has presented an inspiring panorama of the initiatives that have been developed throughout the world for sustainable natural resource management and improved societal development. Sustainability is an important driving force for future competitive advantage. Although there are a lot of garment factories, where various initiatives for sustainability have already started, it is worth assessing the relationship and contribution it has on the supply chain. While the industry struggles towards sustainability, there is a concern about whether they receive expected gains from buyers for that. The research questions were developed based on the literature review and present circumstances. However, the results of this research indicate that sustainability implementation and practices are more challenging, still the prime issues under review like health and safety issues, poor wage structure, pollution, regulation, stakeholder awareness etc. Another important indication received from the findings is that there is a low contribution for improving cost efficiency by using green materials and green production. So, it is important to consider ways on how to increase the cost efficiency while moving towards a sustainable concept which is related to the economic aspect. This will have a high impact on survival since there is huge competition coming from the garment industries in Asia.
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