About us

The goal of modern civilization is to act and practice responsibly with the resources present and already have in circulation, while not ignoring the environment and people. The key is sustainability, where the environment and society are in harmony with a balanced and resilient economy. In 1987, sustainability was defined as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” by the United Nations Brundtland Commission. As the world recognizes the imperative of sustainability, and one effective approach is integrating it into educational curricula. As part of this effort, the German-Bangladesh Higher Education Network for Sustainable Textiles (HEST) was initiated to address the inadequacy of sustainability-related topics in the existing textile engineering syllabus.

Through a collaborative effort involving Technische Universität Dresden (TUD) with expertise in sustainability, Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST) with expertise in textile engineering, and Notre Dame University Bangladesh (NDUB) with expertise in value-based management, the HEST project surveyed the current curriculum. The findings revealed that the inclusion of sustainability-related topics in the textile engineering syllabus was unsatisfactory. At the conclusion of the HEST project, it was determined that additional collaborative initiatives were necessary to enhance education and awareness of sustainable practices in the textile industry with an aim to foster a more responsible and forward-thinking approach among future professionals. Consequently, the recommendation emerged to establish sustainability as a stream within the B.Sc. in Textile Engineering program.

The urgency of sustainability in Bangladesh is underscored by increasing consumer knowledge, evolving governmental and international policies, and mounting buyer pressure. This pressing issue requires continuous innovation and development. The ongoing shift towards a significant "Sustainability Transition" in companies and industries is particularly advantageous for Bangladesh. It is noteworthy that every country is mandated to comply with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. In response to this global trend, different fashion brands worldwide adhere to the guidelines and regulations of the UN Fashion Charter, particularly in manufacturing facilities located in Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) comprises a total of 3796 members. The growing emphasis on sustainability has led buyers to demand the appointment of at least two sustainability-responsible professionals at each step of the supply chain. Additionally, at the buyer level, there is a trend towards establishing a separate department dedicated to sustainability. Given these developments, numerous factories now require qualified graduates possessing extensive knowledge of sustainability and its various implications to drive this transition further. Introducing a sustainability stream in the Textile Engineering program becomes crucial. If such a stream were implemented, producing 50 graduates annually (25 in each semester), it would still take more than 10 years to meet the substantial demand for skilled employees in the field of sustainability in the textiles of Bangladesh.

As part of its sustainability initiatives, Engelbert Strauss GmbH & Co. KG from Germany is actively contributing to the enhancement of higher education in Bangladesh. Specifically, Strauss aims to elevate the capabilities of future university graduates entering the workforce. Engelbert Strauss generously funded the Chair for Sustainability and Textile Innovation project through GIZ in collaboration with TUD and the United Nations University Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES). As a result, Chair for Sustainability and Textile Innovation was established under the department of textile engineering, AUST. AUST would be the pioneer in introducing sustainability as a new stream in the undergraduate Textile Engineering program, both domestically and internationally.

The project's goals include faculty development, curricular refinement, and the establishment of a new stream on Sustainability and Textile Innovation within the B.Sc. in Textile Engineering program. This budget covers all costs related to establishing the new stream, including faculty salaries and laboratory setups. Within the project, since 2020 new course modules have been developed, and academics were trained for the preparation of a successful implementation of the course modules of the newly established Chair for Sustainability and Textile Innovation.