Mostafiz Uddin Wins Coveted Drapers Sustainable Fashion Champion Award
Mostafiz Uddin, Managing Director of Denim Expert Limited and Founder of Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE), won Sustainable Fashion Champion at the Drapers Sustainable Fashion Awards 2021. This virtual event took place on March 10th, 2021.
On receiving the award, Mostafiz commented on aiming to be a game-changer in the apparel industry, leading by example to inspire others to behave responsibly and ethically.
He also dedicated the award to H&M which, he explained, supported his business, Denim Expert Ltd., through the pandemic by continuing to place orders. The loyal support of the Swedish fashion giant almost certainly helped save the livelihoods of 2000 workers and their 10,000 family members at his factory. “That’s true sustainability leadership,” he said.
The Drapers Sustainable Fashion Awards recognizes steps being made in reducing the fashion industry’s environmental impact and creating fairer working conditions across the supply chain. Judged by an independent panel of sustainability and fashion retail experts, the awards shine a spotlight on best practice within the global fashion industry.
Covid-19 has presented unforeseen challenges for fashion retailers and brands, but it has also given us all an opportunity to re-build better. Forward-thinking fashion businesses know change is not optional, and are embracing their responsibilities and ability to make a difference.
Mostafiz Uddin has been recognized as the Sustainable Fashion Champion 2021 for setting examples in promoting sustainability during the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Jill Geoghegan, Acting Editor of Drapers, said: “Despite the challenges thrown up by the Coronavirus pandemic, fashion brands and retailers increasingly recognize that sustainability is a business imperative.Many businesses continued to invest in cleaning up their supply chains and introducing new models of working, despite the unprecedented trading conditions. The Drapers Sustainable Fashion Awards highlight and celebrate these advancements, paving the way for a more responsible future for the industry.”
Managing Director of Denim Expert Limited, Mostafiz Uddin, said: “In the pandemic, my factory, Denim Expert Limited, stayed true to its commitment towards sustainability, despite an extremely difficult trading landscape.
During the pandemic, I was vocal about the issue of buyer-supplier relationships and, in speaking out, I wanted to champion the cause of suppliers all over the world. Too often suppliers in garment supply chains do not have a voice because they fear that by speaking out, they will be treated unfavorably by brands.
This was, of course, a risk on my own part but I like to think I stood up for what I think is right and ultimately, I believe progressive brands understood I was coming from a good place. Like them, all I want to see is a fair, ethical and sustainable industry where brands and retailers work in an environment of collaboration, not conflict.”
Mostafiz also had some special praise for H&M. He said: “It would have not been possible for meto support my workers during the pandemic, had my factory not received help from H&M during the unprecedented time. While Denim Expert suffered from huge orders cancellation and orders hold, H&M supported us by placing orders in the pandemic that saved thousands of lives and livelihoods. Therefore, I would like to dedicate this Award to H&M and its CEO Helena Helmersson.”