India-France alliance looks at sustainable textile potential
Ethical and sustainable fashion has been gathering momentum globally as the main purpose of using sustainable materials in producing fashion products is to keep the environment free from contaminants.
Recently, the Embassy of India, Paris, in collaboration with Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) organised a webinar on ‘India-France: market opportunities and areas of cooperation for a sustainable textile and fashion’. France is known globally for its fashion and style.
The webinar covered a wide range of topics, including water use, energy consumption, chemical loading, air emissions, carbon emissions, solid waste, and landfills, as well as circularity and social sustainability issues like inclusion, skilling, labour reforms, and women empowerment. The significance of blockchain technology and traceability were also discussed.
Trade Advisor, Ministry of Textiles, Shubhra talked on policy and sustainability targets and ambitions related to Indian textile industry and sustainability. Trade Advisor emphasised on the fact that the Indian Government is employing different policies to improve productivity and reduce environmental pollution. “Initiatives like PM-MITRA which is establishing seven mega textile parks across the country would enable embedding sustainability in the value chain and would make the industry future ready giving it a competitive edge globally,” she said.
Speaking on the current status and outlook for Indian apparel exporters, Narendra Goenka, Chairman, Apparel Export Promotion Council, said, “Indian apparel industry is very well aware of the alarming fact that without sustainable supply chains, the fashion industry will become less and less viable. Sustainability is now counted as one of the major pillars of apparel export business and a growth tool.”
He added, “India offers to the world a complete value chain solution from farm to fashion giving us a competitive edge towards efficient implementation and monitoring of the sustainability throughout the supply chain through triple bottom line (TBL) approach involving three pillars of sustainability that are economic, social, and environmental.”
To move towards fashion that contributes to a clean environment, India has also launched Project SU.RE which stands for ‘Sustainable Resolution’ – a firm commitment from the industry. Indian brands have pledged to source/ utilise a substantial portion of their total consumption using sustainable raw materials and processes, by the year 2025.
The fashion industry is one of the main contributors to the world’s largest pollution. It is due to the tons of water usage producing excess carbon dioxide gas, excessive use of energy to produce clothing, and non-renewable sources for fibre, fibre, and environmental pollution with harmful chemicals. The fashion industry accounts for about 8-10% of global carbon emissions, and nearly 20% of wastewater.
The United Nations Alliance for Sustainable Fashion is an initiative of UN agencies and other partners aimed at helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals through coordinated action in the fashion industry. The Alliance strives to promote programmes and policies that ensure that the fashion value chain contributes to the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals’ targets, as well as to assist collaboration across UN entities working in fashion.
Through the Alliance, the UN commits to changing the path of fashion, reducing its negative environmental and social impacts; and turning fashion into a driver of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.