Rejaul Hasan, BSC Associate
Current Degree Program: Ph.D. Candidate, 2018, College of Textiles, Textile Technology Management
Hometown: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Previous degrees: University of Manchester (UK), MS Textile Engineering 2012; University of Dhaka (Bangladesh), BS Textile Engineering, 2010.
Areas of Interest in Sustainability: Social and Environmental Sustainability in Supply Chain
Why is sustainability important to you? Why do you think it should be important to other students?
Before joining NC State, I had worked almost five years in Global apparel sourcing and supply chain for the French sporting goods retailer “Decathlon” in different parts of the world including Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vietnam, and China. During this professional tenure, I experienced how the integration of sustainability in business practice cannot only promote peace and prosperity in a society but can also ensure long-term business profitability and how it is important for our existence on earth. I think each student should understand the sense and spirit of sustainability, because it will provide the insight to integrate sustainability in everything that we do.
What first sparked your interest in sustainability? What made you realize that you wanted to incorporate sustainability into your education and future career?
In 2013 while I was working for apparel sourcing and supply chain in Bangladesh, I have witnessed the deadliest industrial accident ever in the history of the apparel industry, “Rana Plaza”. The eight storied garments factory in the suburb of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh collapsed and more than 1100 workers died and almost 3000 workers were traumatized. The incident was extremely heart-breaking and a wakeup call for everyone and made me realize very depth the importance of integrating sustainability into my education and future career.
What sustainability challenge would you most like to solve?
Historically apparel industry was experiencing the compromise of social and environmental sustainability norms as fair wages, a safe workplace, water and air pollution and so on to make the desired profit for the stakeholders. I strongly believe we can transform the current apparel business to a more solid and sustainable business model which can take care of sustainability and profitability of business at the same time, I want to prepare myself to be an actor of that transformation.
What is your dream career, and how would you like to make sustainability a part of your day-to-day work?
I would like to support the International apparel brands and retailers to integrate strong social and environmental sustainability practice in global sourcing and throughout their entire supply chain. It provides the opportunity to work in a complex sustainability dynamic that involves many manufacturers around the world, millions of workers and different environmental context. The day to day job demands to ensure an efficient and high performing supply chain without a compromise with sustainability norms.
Along with this, recently I founded a company in Bangladesh named “Sustainable Sourcing Solutions” to support international apparel brands, retailers, and local manufacturers to ensure sustainability practice throughout the sourcing, supply chain, and manufacturing operations.
What leader(s) do you admire for their commitment to improving sustainability or championing positive change?
I am a huge fan of sustainability movement than a leader with sustainability commitment because the impact is much higher in case of movement. I much admire and believe in activities of Business Sustainability Collaborative and their commitment to sustainability; since I believe such collaborative has the power to inject the sense of sustainability in students’ mind at an early age and to create a future workforce who can spread this sense and spirit of sustainability around the world through their work.
What’s your advice for fellow students who might be interested in sustainability, but don’t know where to start?
I would encourage my fellow students to join different campus events; this is a simple and most effective way to start. Through this, you will be meeting many students who have similar interest. This is a unique opportunity to share your values, exchange your thoughts and listen to experts in this area. I do highly recommend to attend different events of Business Sustainability Collaborative and Net Impact.