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October 11, 2022

India signs co-operation deal to “mainstream” textile sustainability

India’s Ministry of Textiles has signed a co-operation agreement for the purpose of “mainstreaming” sustainability and circularity in the country’s textile sector.

By Michelle Russell

The agreement was signed with the United Nations’ Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) at a recent consultation on ‘Sustainability in the Textile Value Chain’ celebrating World Cotton Day.

The main objective of the meeting was to put forward and discuss the sustainability initiatives across the textile value chain, digital interventions along with potential strategies for enhancing sustainability and circularity in the Indian textile value chain.

As a result, a co-operation agreement was signed between the three parties to design a campaign on ‘mainstreaming sustainability and circularity in the textile sector’.

Shri Upendra Singh, secretary, Ministry of Textiles, who presided over the first session, emphasised the importance of sustainability and circularity in the textile value chain in India. He also pointed out that though the textile parks are equipped with CETP facilities, the textile industry is still facing problems in effluent management due to the unavailability of data on waste generations from the processing clusters.

He emphasised that this meeting would have a great impact on evolving an action plan on sustainability, which he said is no longer a choice for the industry.

The national consultation provided a platform for industry and the stakeholders in textile value chain to deliberate on the current status and a way forward for mainstreaming sustainability circularity and traceability in the textile sector.

In his opening address, Shri Shombi Sharp, UN Resident Coordinator mentioned that India’s textile industry is a “very important sector of Indian economy in terms of economic production as well as one of the largest providers of jobs”. He sounded his appreciation for the efforts of the Ministry in initiating steps towards embedding sustainability in the sector.

Prajakta Verma, Joint Secretary of the MoT emphasised the need to “critically evaluate approaches in a world which is driven by the 2030 Sustainability and the Climate agenda. This conference is setup in the context to devise a multistakeholder approach which is a key to drive us to the future”.

Meanwhile, Bhawna Singh, additional director, Ministry of Environment, Forest and climate change, emphasised that India is one of the largest apparel and textile sourcing regions in the world due to its abundant availability of raw materials and its skilled work force.

Pradeep Kumar Agarwal of the CCI, elaborated on the new initiative of CCI for traceability of cotton bales using block chain technology in collaboration with the Textile Committee, while Shri Ajay Chavan, secretary and CEO of the Textile Committee followed with a brief about the block chain enabled QR Code for live monitoring of cotton bale inventory.

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