23° 49′ 20 N 90° 20′ 45 E – Dhaka, Bangladesh. These coordinates do not only represent the Bengali capital Dhaka – they also have special meaning for our brand SURU STUDIOS, as they stand for the place where everything has begun. We are proud to have the opportunity to call Dhaka Bangladesh our place of production and to work together with long-term local partners. Our appreciation is reflected especially in our brand name: SURU comes from Bengali and means “The beginning”. That’s exactly what we want to be – the beginning of a better, more sustainable and more humane future. But how exactly do we want to do that? In this blog post, we take a look at the textile industry in Bangladesh and tell you why we chose Dhaka as our production location.

The textile industry in Bangladesh

The textile industry in Bangladesh is repeatedly criticized for its poor working and production conditions. At the same time, however, the textile industry is an important economic sector that has contributed to a reduction in poverty, an increase in life expectancy and a decrease in the infant mortality rate. Bangladesh employs about 3.5 million textile workers, 80 percent of them are women. As a result, up to 20 million people, about one-eighth of the population, are directly or indirectly dependent on the textile industry. Although the work in textile factories is hard and unfortunately still largely underpaid, it offers women in particular the chance to escape absolute poverty. In fact, in the years since the boom of the textile industry at the beginning of the 2000s, the country has experienced a significant change for the better. The goal of reducing poverty in Bangladesh by half was achieved in 2013, and as a result the life expectancy of the population has increased significantly over time. More and more children have the opportunity to attend school while child labor is gradually decreasing as a result of this development. Despite these many achievements, the textile industry in Bangladesh also has its dark side. Particularly in terms of working and production conditions, there is still room for improvement in many Bengali textile factories. Human rights violations, accidents and deaths – all these things are part of the reality of life for many textile workers. And that is exactly what we want to change!

This is where SURU STUDIOS comes in. It is important to us to take social responsibility for the textile workers in Bangladesh by standing up for fair working conditions and fair wages. In this way we want to put the textile industry in Bangladesh in a more positive light and set a good example. Our fashion should be “clean” and for this reason not only be sustainable, but also fairly produced to counteract the exploitation of people, animals and nature. We want to support the experienced employees on local level in Bangladesh and enable them to live a life without worries and poverty. Fair wages, fair working conditions, appreciation and respect are the key for us, and we are proud to have found the optimal partner in Colombus Textile GmbH in Dhaka, Bangladesh. All our production facilities are listed with the BSCI – Business Soc(i)al Compliance Initiative and have signed the corresponding Code of Conduct. In addition, our label is GOTS certified. The GOTS seal guarantees strict environmental criteria – from the cultivation and extraction of raw materials, to the finishing processes (e.g. bleaching, dyeing), to the production and ready-made garments (e.g. T-shirts, sweaters, etc.). In addition, the GOTS certificate is accompanied by social standards throughout the production chain. These standards are based on the criteria of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and include the following areas: minimum wage (living wage, minimum legal minimum wage), prohibition of child labor, prohibition of discrimination in the workplace, health and safety protection in the workplace, and social security through clear regulation of employment contracts. Since version 6.0, GOTS certified companies are obliged to calculate and document the difference between the actual wages paid and the “living wage” according to a given scheme. In addition, the companies are supposed to work towards closing this gap in order to enable textile workers to lead a secure life without financial problems. All these aspects mentioned are checked regularly by strict controls. This ensures that only resource-saving and sustainable materials are used in GOTS certified factories and that the employees work under fair conditions. Let’s be the BEGINNING of a better future. Together.

Why we do all of this? Our mission is to fight poverty and advocate for human rights in Bangladesh. The appreciation of our Bengali employees is not only reflected in our corporate philosophy – we also show our respect for the country and the people living there to our customers by labeling our SURU basics with coordinates of our production site in Dhaka. True to the motto “Back to the roots”, we want to proudly carry the place where it all began to the outside world and make a statement. Help us to put the textile industry in Bangladesh in a better light! Start now – wear SURU.

It is up to us to create a better future. Let’s start together: SURU “The beginning” is now!

January 20, 2022