CREATE visits DBL Group: A Pathfinder in Apparel Circularity Transition in Bangladesh

CREATE team embarked on a field visit to various locations including the garment factories, recycling facilities, textile waste clusters, and textile-waste reuse and recycling establishments. However, visit to DBL Group’s recycling plant, textile recycling labs, and associated factories provided a sense of understanding to CREATE team that how a supplier can become a pathfinder for circularity economy transition in apparel industry despite weak institutional setting.

Apart from some circular MNEs that have entered Bangladeshi market in collaboration with local apparel-suppliers, DBL group is the first one of its kind that has set up a textile circular Unit in its own value chain structure to recycle the pre-consumer textile waste.

This visit On 6th August, 2023, was led by the CREATE project leader, Dr. Mohammad B. Rana, Associate Professor at Aalborg University Business School (AAUBS), Denmark, together with Emeritus Professor Olav Jull Sørensen at AAUBS and a senior Research Fellow at Access2Innovation, DK, Prof. Dr. Imranul Hoque (AUST and JnU), Prof. Dr. Melita Mehjabeen (IBA, DU), Professor Dr. Mahbub Alam (IUT, Dhaka), Mr. Abul Kalam Azad, Research Associate at CREATE, Sarah Mirza, Research assistant at CREATE, PhD Students at Aalborg University Mr. Syed Ahmed Tajuddin, Mr. Hasan Imam, future PhD student Mr. Yestabshir Mahmud & Asma Khatoon.

This experience proved highly informative, as the team gained valuable insights into DBL’s sustainable practices and efforts to promote a greener transition and circular economy. DBL stands out as a commendable company being a significant producer of recycled fabrics and garments. DBL Group views sustainability as the capacity to endure and thrive. Their Sustainability 5.0 Strategy encompasses five essential principles: People, Process, Product, Community, and Environment. This approach embraces a comprehensive perspective on achieving both social and environmental sustainability. They are globally the 1st supplier of the PUMA for the products made from recycled fibers. They also developed Quilted Fabrics from recycled fibers which is an alternative of Fleece and Terry.

From innovative yarn production techniques utilizing recycled materials to water conservation, energy efficiency, and the adoption of renewable energy sources, the company has managed to significantly reduce its resource consumption and waste generation. These initiatives not only align with global sustainability goals but also contribute to substantial cost savings and a more responsible production process.

DBL Group’s initiatives touch upon multiple stages of an employee’s journey; from childbirth to daycare to children’s education, and then all the way to foster leadership and skill development through customized training for employment. The provision of childcare, education support, health services, and family planning not only uplift the lives of employees and their families but also create a strong sense of community within the company.

DBL Group has demonstrated a strong commitment to both social and environmental sustainability across various aspects of its operations. Through a comprehensive range of initiatives, the company has shown its dedication to enhancing the well-being of its employees and local communities, as well as minimizing its environmental impact. The company’s efforts span across the entire spectrum of sustainability, showcasing its holistic approach to responsible business practices. However, it is not the end, the journey for gaining full-scale sustainability in all dimensions require many more endeavors to undertake.