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January 24, 2020

More Myanmar factories complete chemical training

Five more factories in Myanmar have completed a chemical management and detox programme developed by SMART Textile & Garments, a European Union-funded initiative aimed at promoting 'Made in Myanmar' garments and sustainable practices.

By Beth Wright

Five more factories in Myanmar have completed the chemical management and detox programme developed by the European Union-funded SMART Textile & Garments initiative.

The five factories – Lin Zhan, Reeblue, Champion Winner Industry, Jiu Sheng and Textile Palace – took part in the SMART Chemical Management & Detox Programme during the second half of 2019. The six-month initiative involved on-site assessment and consultancy and participation in technical training. The factories are all also required to implement any necessary improvements.

The participating factories comprised one jean factory, a footwear factory, a dedicated garment printing facility and two garment factories with washing and printing units.

The SMART Chemical Management & Detox Programme was first developed in 2017 with support from the German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles and German development agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. 

Senior international experts from Germany, Bangladesh and Pakistan have instructed local SMART project technical experts to help promote best practices across Myanmar’s burgeoning wet processing, textile and footwear industries. 17 factories have participated in the programme to-date.

Although known more often for contract manufacturing of garments, Myanmar is already host to more than 60 footwear factories producing for European, Japanese and US markets, as well as some vertically integrated textile mills and a rapidly growing number of garment washing and printing facilities.

As production expands, the importance of safe and responsible handling of chemicals and hazardous waste is growing. Key topics within the programme include conformance with Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) recommendations and Globally Harmonized System (GHS) chemical labelling requirements. The programme also educates participants on the resource-efficient management of chemicals.

SMART Textile & Garments, until recently known as SMART Myanmar, is co-funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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