The Apparel Export Promotion AEPC has partnered with Fashion for Goods, Netherlands, for this initiative and Council organized a brain storming session on ‘Promoting Circularity amongst Indian Garment industry’ at Apparel House, Gurugram on 27 July.
AEPC has started a drive on sustainability and circularity to boost the competitiveness of garment exports globally thereby making the textiles sector more efficient.
This brainstorming session conducted with the support from Fashion for Good, Netherlands, involved all the stakeholders engaged in the garment value chain including Brand Partners (PVH, Adidas, LS&Co, TESCO, Target, Primark), Supply Chain Partners- Arvind, Birla Cellulose and Welspun India), Pre-consumer pilot stakeholders- 20 manufacturers, Technology Innovators: Reverse Resources, Matoha, Picvisa, etc.
Basically, sustainability and circularity is not new to the country. The magnitude of waste in landfill which is presumed to be 80% is due to the textiles waste is wrong. What is comforting to us is that almost 59% is recycled and reused.
Now the government is ready to help the industry with incentives, relevant interventions, standardization and policy support to build a viable ecosystem for a sustainable and circular economy.
Making the opening remark, Naren Goenka, Chairman AEPC said, “The major issue which has gained the attention of the global consumers is the landfill contribution made by the textile waste both at pre and post-consumer stage. Approximately, 50 per cent of the fabric is wasted during the manufacturing process and the fast fashion trends leads to 81% of all manufactured garments getting dumped as landfills either due to short life cycle after consumer use or due to excess stock.”
With global apparel market size expected to grow from $551.36 billion in 2021 to $605.4 billion in 2022 to $843.13 billion in 2026, at a growth of 8.6% and the Ministry support through government incentives, PLI and PM-MITRA, India is all poised to produce more to cater to rising global demands.
India with its core strength on availability of variety of raw material with minimal import dependence leading to short lead times, becomes a preferred manufacturing hub for the major international brands and retailers.
Further, AEPC has focused strategy towards encouraging wider penetration of these measures amongst the MSMEs hand holding these units with demonstrations and solutions, sustainability awards, branding efforts etc.
For promoting the concept of circular economy approach and the initiative would assist the Indian garment manufacturers to achieve their circularity goals by addressing problem areas including agricultural waste to textile, Chemical recycling of textile, Textile waste, Alternate leather, regenerative agriculture, Wastewater, Plastic recycling and Traceability in the textile supply chain.
India has a well- networked textiles waste value chain through organized, enabling transfer of waste across the country. However, lack of traceability system, excessive cost competitiveness, and limited infrastructure to process certain waste types and workers well-being has limited potential of a circular value chain.
The estimated loss of approximately 0.70 USD for every piece of apparel exported. To trace the destination of waste, it has been found that approximately 15 tons of informal trading of wastes took place in a single underground market.
Overall, it leads to a significant loss of value addition that could have been added through a circular economy. The idea is to convert this waste to wealth which promises a huge business opportunity for those engaged in the domain.