Recently, China has suffered from a worker shortage, resulting in higher production costs. However, this has been an excellent opportunity for Bangladesh to upscale its position in the RMG/outwear industry and some other sectors as well. And following this situation, one of the most significant Bangladeshi exports is now sleeping bags. As a result, Bangladesh is becoming a major manufacturer of sleeping bags for the worldwide market.
The production of sleeping bags in Bangladesh is growing. In addition, the country is increasingly becoming a solid player in the outerwear industry, such as jackets, camping, skiing, sportswear, hunter, safety, workwear, and rainwear. As a result, many factories are now capable of making and supplying these products. Even a few years ago, only two or three multinational companies under the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) used to produce sleeping bags. But now, at least ten local players are in the industry manufacturing such export-quality items.
Outerwear shipment fetches nearly $4 billion annually for the country. The biggest buyer of these sleeping bags is the US, and despite the higher duty on the shipments of sleeping bags to the US, the item’s earnings are around $500 million annually. Since then, local exporters have faced nearly 12 percent duty to export sleeping bags to the US markets. Still, investors from the US, Korea, and China have shifted their production units to Bangladesh to produce the item at competitive prices.
Russia is one of the top markets for sleeping bags from Eusebio Sporting, which ships nearly $3 million worth of the item to the country annually. The director of the Taiwanese company Eusebio Sporting Ltd located in Chattogram, Julio Lin, said, “I have not faced any challenge in exporting to Russia despite the ongoing war. I am shipping the goods as usual and receiving the payments from my buyers through third countries.”
Sleeping bags are in high demand for people who go on outings like trekking and skiing. Therefore, there is a demand for sleeping bags in the Scandinavian, European, North, and South American countries.
Abdullah Hil Rakib, managing director of Team Group, a sleeping bag exporter, says, “the shipment is growing from Bangladesh, and the demand will grow further when people start skiing and mountaineering following the improvement in the COVID-19 situation.”
The demand for sleeping bags has declined a bit in the last two years due to the pandemic, and it may take two to three years for the segment to fully recover. However, the country leader of a French company that sources sleeping bags from several factories in Bangladesh says his company’s sourcing growth is 7 to 8 percent annually.
Bangladesh’s share in the global sleeping bag manufacturing segment is rising as China loses its market. In 2021, the top importers of sleeping bags were the US, the European Union, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Spain, as per the data from the World Integrated Trade Solution portal of the World Bank showed.