Furniture is one of the essential items for use in any home or office and it is being used every day for decoration purposes. Furniture also engraves a person’s taste and nobility. The Bangladeshi furniture industry has developed following its customers’ changing preferences and needs. In addition to traditional wood-heavy design furniture, the country’s furniture brands are now making modern, lightweight, and minimalist furniture to compete with international culture. And, as the country’s people have adopted Western culture, all these modern furniture designs have gradually become a part of fashion for the people. However, what exactly is the reason that furniture has become a part of fashion for people nowadays?
Before independence, most furniture manufacturers in Bangladesh traditionally operated their business. But since independence, branded furniture manufacturers have started operations in the country. In particular, as the demand for furniture increased in the early 90s, the sector transformed into a mass-production-oriented industry and gradually became one of the major economic contributors to the country. Bangladesh’s furniture sector can be divided into organized and unorganized. Organized refers to brands that are well established in furniture manufacturing, and unorganized refers to all kinds of unbranded furniture manufacturers, big and small, scattered all over the country. Unbranded or unorganized manufacturers dominate 65% of the country’s furniture market. Bangladesh manufacturers make solid wood furniture, processed wood furniture, metal furniture, cane furniture, and even modular design furniture. According to The Business Standard, 93% of the furniture produced in Bangladesh is being sold in the local market. Moreover, the Bangladesh government has also declared the furniture industry as a “thrust sector“.
Although the furniture industry is still led by traditional furniture manufacturers in Bangladesh, over time, branded furniture manufacturers such as Hatil, Otobi, Navana, and Regal have established themselves in the market. These brands are making traditional and fashionable furniture in modern design, keeping in mind the global trend and the changing preferences of the country’s people. As the country’s people are constantly adapting to Western culture, their tastes in clothing, education, and even the use of furniture have changed considerably.
How Furniture Became Fashion?
In 2022, the per capita income of the Bangladeshi people is $2,824 or about 253,000 Taka. With the increase in income, the quality of life of the people has also improved. Along with this, there has been a change in almost all areas, from food to clothing. People are adopting Western culture daily through TV or online, which is reflected in our daily lifestyle. Once upon a time, people in Bangladesh usually preferred homemade food, but now they are more interested in trying out the restaurants that offer cuisine of different cultures. Not too long ago, the people of Bangladesh became used to pizza, pasta, burgers, and ramen. We have also started using modern kitchen appliances, starting with our home’s design. There has also been a change in the way people dress. The trend of wearing branded clothes has increased among the country’s people since several years ago. Consumers are now turning to designer exclusive fashion brands. Again EdTech platforms, ride-sharing, and food delivery have all become a part of our daily lives.
According to a BTRC source, the total number of Internet subscribers in Bangladesh in May 2012 was just over 22.8 million, but in May 2022, it exceeded 12.5 crore, which suggests that in the last ten years, the Internet has become more accessible to the people of Bangladesh. This has made it much easier for the people of Bangladesh to adapt to the global culture. Also, thanks to social media, people are now learning about various cosmetic brands, clothing, jewelry, and other accessories. In addition, people are currently consuming a lot of international content. Therefore, people are getting influenced by different cultures by seeing these contents. As a result, many international brands are now operating directly in Bangladesh. From this, it is understood that the preferences of the people of Bangladesh are constantly changing.
Bangladeshi people are now focusing on designing their homes as part of this change and global culture adoption. When building a new house, people are trying their best to make a house with a beautiful design designed by a good quality architect and interior design. Flat owners are also arranging their flats with the help of interior designers. People also use home tiles and kitchen and bathroom fittings from international brands.
Additionally, Modernity also impacted people’s changing tastes in home decoration and furniture for everyday use. Once upon a time, Bangladeshi people believed furniture would last a lifetime. Due to the durability of wooden furniture and the availability of wood at affordable prices, customers also prefer to make wooden furniture. Therefore, many people still prefer wooden furniture due to its longevity, despite the high price. However, as customer trends have changed, many people no longer believe furniture will last a lifetime. Instead, Bangladeshi customers are now focusing more on modern design for their furniture. And with the contemporary design trend changing, there is a tendency for customers to use any piece of furniture as long as it lasts. In other words, furniture has become a kind of fashion item for the customers, which is proof of the aristocracy and taste of the customer. The way that Bangladeshis use furniture has changed a lot with the change in their tastes. In the past, furniture meant simply elaborate beds, sofas, steel cupboards, showcases, or racks made of wood.
Currently, people prefer to design each of their rooms with furniture according to one type of theme. There was also not much similarity between furniture pieces in the same room in the past. Now that theme-based interior design is popular, almost all of the furniture in a room has the same design pattern. Even the current furniture is being adapted to the minimalistic design pattern instead of the previous excessive craftsmanship. And over time, the adoption of more minimalistic and solid designs has grown among customers. In addition to changes in furniture materials and designs, customers in the country are now buying furniture in different colors. In the past, customers used to understand and prefer the color varnished on wood, but now customers are buying furniture in different colors. And keeping pace with the customers’ changing tastes, Hatil, Otobi, Navana, Regal, Brothers, and several other local brands offer minimal, solid, and smart furniture. Besides, for the last few years, several exclusive home decor brands like Leo King, Satori, and Charuta have been serving the country’s customers by importing various modern and elegant furniture of unique designs from abroad. Theme-based furniture is being used in homes as well as offices. However, most offices are still using traditional furniture. However, with the increase in the number of tech companies and start-ups in Bangladesh, the trend of using minimal, solid and smart, and modular furniture in office interior design has also started with the development of open office culture and office sharing culture like WeWork. Hatil, as a global brand, has introduced modular and smart furniture to Bangladeshi customers.
According to a TBS source, the country’s furniture industry has a revenue of Rs 10,000 crore yearly. While the lion’s share (65%) of the country’s furniture industry is under traditional furniture manufacturers, the domestic brand “Hatil Furniture” is leading the market with a 10% market share in the case of branded furniture manufacturers. In addition, Otobi and Navana Furniture both hold 5% of the market. Brands such as Hatil, Otobi, Navana, Regal, and Brothers Furniture started their business with wooden furniture, but with the changing tastes of customers and the adoption of international culture, there are now a variety of modern designs, from wood to plywood, plywood, and steel. Making furniture. Meanwhile, customers also choose various modern and fashionable design furniture made by these brands from the minimum design preference. Hatil Wood board, Bangladesh’s top furniture brand, also manufactures and sells furniture ranging from modern and modular designs.
Apart from Bangladesh, Hatil is exporting its furniture to more than 16 countries, including India, Bhutan, and the United States. Due to this, Hatil has to design and manufacture products following the prevailing trends in the world of furniture. Hatil also has its interior designing service. Customers can use this Hatil service to design their home’s entire interior and decorate each house with Hatil’s products. Like Hatil, other furniture manufacturing brands are meeting the demand for modern and fashionable furniture in Bangladesh’s mass-market with minimal and solid design furniture. They are constantly working to make it popular.