Key Takeaways from Conference Day 03
Author: Shegufta Armin Ahsan
There is no alternative to innovation and collaboration for a sustainable future of the RMG industry. We must leverage partnerships and work collectively to ensure the wellbeing of the industry and the women garment workers.
On the final day of the STITCH for RMG Global Innovation Conference, we looked at how innovation and technology can play a balancing role between competitiveness and welfare. We also discussed the importance of collaborations and partnerships for fostering innovation within the RMG industry. Here are our key takeaways from day 03:
- Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing is the way forward for the industry. Owners have begun to realize the importance of going beyond compliance and investing in sustainable practices However, for sustainability to be properly implemented in the industry, stakeholders across the supply chain will need to show commitment.
- The RMG industry produces a large amount of waste. Reducing this can help us achieve higher global prices.
- Technology can help the industry become more efficient and improve resource utilization.
- Establishing strong partnership network can help make the supply chain more resilient through shared knowledge and complementary competencies.
- The adoption of new technology adds to the business case. We need a mindset shift to view technology as supportive rather than disruptive.
- The percentage of women workers in the RMG industry has decreased from 80 percent to 60 percent. However, this reduction cannot be entirely attributed to the introduction of technology. Many workers have migrated to other industries, such as manufacturing and healthcare. So, in addition to upskilling workers, the industry also needs to redesign better incentives and create a supportive, enabling work environment.
- There is a strong business case for owners to retain women garment workers. A study by the Oxford University found that female supervisors tend to produce better output, exhibit higher levels of dedication and are more patient with workers compared to male supervisors.
- It is also important to ensure the financial empowerment of women garment workers. This will elevate their decision-making power.
Although the STITCH for RMG Global Innovation Conference has come to an end, our work has just begun. We will move forward with the recommendations presented during the conference and embark on a search for scalable, equitable and implementable innovations through a global innovation challenge. We hope you will stay with us in the next stage as well.
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