Text: Students from the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg
In less than two weeks, 15 students from the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg are traveling to the world’s eighth most populated country, Bangladesh. The trip aims to get a better understanding and knowledge of Bangladesh’s textile industry, which accounts for a large percentage of the country’s exports. The purpose is to cover issues regarding economic, social and environmental sustainability within the textile industry.
The student association Handel’s Students for Sustainability, HaSS, is arranging the trip, with support from HRHU, Handels Råd för Hållbar Utveckling. The students travelling to Bangladesh have different backgrounds and are studying economics, business, law, logistics or environmental studies.
The group of students will arrive in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, the 8th of June. Just a few hours after landing, the first meeting will be conducted, the Embassy of Sweden in Dhaka being the host. During the following two weeks the students will visit Swedish companies’ factories and meet with production offices. A trip to the one of the most polluted areas in the world, Hazaribagh, is also on the agenda, where tanneries and families live together in a small area. In addition, meetings with several NGOs working with women’s rights and working conditions, as well as visit to a university are scheduled.
Ready to go!
In order to get a holistic view and include all the academia at the School of Business, Economics and Law, the group of students have together been in contact with companies and organizations working within the textile industry. The preparations were launched early this spring, with the workshop Change Your Shoes, referring to the shoe industry in Bangladesh. Lectures and seminars regarding sustainable supply chains, as well as Bangladesh economy and politics, have been a part of the preparations. The last part was an introduction to Bengali culture, including a basic language course.
We are now packing our bags for the big adventure, which will be a trip that we will remember for the rest of our lives. Bangladesh is one of the most exposed countries in the world, suffering from poverty and climate change. Bangladesh is only a few meters above sea level and a continuing rising sea level would be disastrous for the country. We will visit the country in an interesting period; June is usually the beginning of the rainy season and this year Ramadan starts in beginning of June. We are all looking forward to gaining new knowledge to share with other students back in Sweden.