Recently, Chattogram-based Sonnet Textile Industries Ltd has produced about six lakh pieces of FIFA T-shirts with the green and red “Made in Bangladesh” label for the greatest football show this year in Qatar.
Earlier this year on 2018 Russia World Cup, Sonnet made two lakh pieces of official jackets with the FIFA logo and now the factory made the T-shirts on behalf of the FIFA-licensed Russian sports chain shop Sportmaster.
Besides this, the local apparel maker also received a work order for three lakh T-shirts for the 2020 Euro Cup.
If these prestigious global orders are set aside for the moment, Sonnet has a story of its own about its inception and journey, which also sounds very interesting.
Gazi Shahidullah, Director, Sonnet said, “We survived on sub-contracting all through 2009. In April 2010, the factory received a $76,000 US order for the first time that was to make rompers for babies. But their annual audit found a Tk1.10 crore loss in the first two years.”
In 2010, a group of Russian buyers visited Sonnet. In June of that year, they ordered 2.45 lakh T-shirts and in 2011, Sonnet received an order from a US buyer that helped it stabilise the balance sheet.
With the US order, Sonnet recovered its losses, stabilized its courses and started expanding.
Meanwhile, the company earned $15.1 million in exports in 2021, and has set a target of $16 million export earnings in 2022. Now about 1,800 people work at the three factories of Sonnet.
Sonnet’s T-shirts, jackets, activewear and sportswear go to Russia. It exports sleepwear and undergarments to the United States. Children’s items, rompers and T-shirts go to Italy.
Besides, Japan sources various garments for men, women and children from the company with an annual capacity of 1.20 crore of garments.
Gazi Shahidullah said the Russian chain shop Sportmaster is Sonnet’s main client as it buys 65% of the company’s products.
“Sportmaster got the FIFA licence during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Besides, our products are now being sold in chain shops in different countries. The Russia-Ukraine war has slightly slowed down the export,” he added.