Experts at a seminar underscored the whole value chain of the textile and apparel industry has the responsibility to ensure sustainability, though, the owners need to be educated first on sustainability.
Textile Today organized a seminar on 7 August titled ‘ZDHC and Sustainability Implementation in Textile Industry’ on the occasion of launching ceremony of their training and capacity building program in collaboration with Engineering Resources International (ERI) Ltd. The training program will make efficient professionals for the textile industry who will run the Sustainability Department and implement Sustainability Management System (SMS) in the factories and help the same to get the social, environmental and economic benefit and make the industry sustainable in the long run.
“We know Bangladesh government announced 50 billion USD target for apparel export by 2021. To fulfill this target we need more efficient professionals. At the same time, Bangladesh government has made 100 economic zones where many textile factories will be set up and it requires huge skilled professionals,” said Engr. Shafiqur Rahman, President, Institution of Textile Engineers and Technologists (ITET). He was present as the chief guest in the launching ceremony while Industry experts, international brands, and retailers’ representatives were present as special guests in the seminar including Prof. Dr. Engr. Ayub Nabi Khan, Pro Vice-Chancellor, BGMEA University of Fashion & Technology; Engr. Akbar Hakim, Managing Director & CEO, Engineering Resources International (ERI) Ltd, Director, Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industries; Engr. Ehsanul Karim Kaisar, Eminent Industry Expert, Ex-Executive Director, Esquire Knit Composites Ltd, and Engr. Selim Reza, Senior Vice President, The Institution of Textile Engineers & Technologists (ITET), Bangladesh.
“It does not make sense that we will hire efficient professionals from India or Sri Lanka and spend our earned money for them. China, Turkey, Vietnam are spending millions of dollars on developing human capital and we have to remember human capital improvement is the first step of all industrial successes,” he said.
He gave thanks to Textile Today and Engineering Resources International as they come forward to solve a core problem of Bangladesh’s textile and apparel industry.
Describing sustainable team and department of his own company Engr. Ehsanul Karim Kaisar said, “ZDHC and sustainability-these issues are comprehensive not only processing on quality control, it is related with so many environmental issues and it not like another compliance issue, it is related with good practice, which ultimate result is profit share increase.”
After opening ceremony two-panel discussion programs held in the seminar where two keynote speakers spoke on ZDHC and sustainability implementation in textile industry. Prasad Pant, South Asia Director, ZDHC Program, discussed details about ‘ZDHC Implementation’ and Tareq Amin, Editor, and Publisher of Textile Today talked about ‘Sustainability Implementation’.
Tareq Amin, said, “In a world where people are struggling every moment to sustain in the current status they are living, the fashion and apparel industry, on which millions of peoples are directly dependent have some responsibilities to the society and its’ elements. Stakeholders like the governments, brands and buyers, consumer right protectors, labor right protectors, community right protectors, trade associations, financial institutions and the factories have their own perspective of sustainability.”
He emphasized on a holistic approach towards sustainability is needed considering all counterparts and stakeholders to put some real positive impact on businesses, people, and the planet. Factories being the core and one of the most impactful stakeholders in the value chain need to take a systematic approach for implementing sustainability.
“For sustainability management and installation, we need to build efficient professionals. In this regard, Textile Today already has taken initiatives by its ‘Textile Today Training’ module and today we have launched certificate course on ‘Sustainability Management’ in collaboration with ERI,” said Tareq Amin.
Describing the textile industry as the third most polluting industry Prasad Pant said, “We are pushing these hazardous chemicals to affect our next generation.”
The South Asian Director of the ZDHC Program spoke details on ZDHC programs where he highlighted 3 pillars such as collaborative engagement, standard setting, and implementation & innovation.
Engr. Akbar Hakim, Managing Director & CEO, ERI, said, “Sustainability is a very broad issue. To implement it in Bangladesh textile and apparel industry, which accounts for more than 80 percent foreign export earnings, every stakeholder should come up with the concept of ‘sustainability’.”
Praising ZDHC’s initiatives for the sustainable textile industry, a representative from Archroma said that ZDHC makes all things transparent and controllable.
On the other hand, a representative from Carrefour Bangladesh, suggested using good quality chemical instead of low-quality chemical, because if any factory uses low-quality chemical, its overall cost will be high.
In the second panel discussion, speakers urged, “As a consumer, we have to change our behavior, we need to pay more for a sustainable product.”