16 Textile Giants Join Smriti Irani’s Sustainable Fashion Project SU.RE

Project SU.RE will see 16 apparel industry giant commit towards sustainable fashion and encourage others as well

Project SU.RE (sustainable resolution) aims to encourage a transition towards sustainable fashion which contributes to a clean environment.

Indian Textile minister Smriti Irani at the sidelines of Lakme Fashion Week held in Mumbai launched a sustainable Fashion project called SU.RE.

Project SU.RE involves 16 leading fashion brands and been launched by the Minister, along with Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI); United Nations in India; and IMG Reliance, the organizers of Lakmé Fashion Week.

“Never before have 16 of the biggest brands of India come together to save the earth. The combined industry value of the 16 signatories to the resolution is around 30,000 crore rupees. Everything we consume, we have to consume responsibly. The step taken today makes for not only responsible business but also smart business. The Sustainability Report 2018 states that sustainability is the 4th criterion considered by consumers while choosing products,” Union Minister for Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani said on the launch of the gathering.

The signatories for project SU.RE are Future Group, Shopper’s Stop, Aditya Birla Retail, Arvind Brands, Lifestyle, Max, Raymond, House of Anita Dongre, W, Biba, Westside, 109F, Spykar, Levi’s, Bestsellers and Trends, the official release said. The signatories have pledged to source/utilize a substantial portion of their total consumption using sustainable raw materials and processes, by the year 2025.

Rahul Mehta, President of the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India said: “In the past, several products and processes of our industry were not environment-friendly. It is a tremendously responsible and timely step taken by the apparel industry of India, especially the signatories, to commit to move towards sustainable fashion. It is a matter of pride for us at CMAI to be associated with and be one of the drivers of this most crucial Resolution.”

The five-point Sustainable Resolution is as follows:

  1. Develop a complete understanding of the environmental impact of the garments being currently produced by brands.
  2. Develop a sustainable sourcing policy for consistently prioritizing and utilizing certified raw materials that have a positive impact on the environment.
  3. Make the right decisions about how, where, and what we source across the value chain by selecting sustainable and renewable materials and processes and ensuring their traceability.
  4. Communicate our sustainability initiatives effectively to consumers and media through online and physical stores, product tags/labeling, social media, advertising campaigns and events.
  5. Through these actions, shift a significant percentage of our supply chain to a sustainable chain by the year 2025, addressing critical global issues such as climate change, contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and building a world that is safe for the future generations, as an acceptance of a responsibility the apparel industry shares.

The textile industry in India is one of the major employer, employing over 100 million workers and professionals in the country and contribute 5% of GDP but at the same time is also a major polluter. It generates an enormous quantity of waste as sludge, fibres and chemically polluted waters.

Fibers like cotton are found in 40% of all clothing whilst synthetic fibers, such as polyester and nylon, in 72% of garments. Both have been criticized for their environmental impacts. Cotton is a highly water-intensive plant. Though only 2.4% of the world’s agricultural land is planted with cotton, it consumes almost 10% of all agricultural chemicals and 25% of pesticides.

While Synthetic polymers, on the other hand, are not grown but manufactured. Production of nylon produces nitrous oxide which is a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Both polyester and nylon also break down in washing machines leading to the build-up of microplastics in our water systems.

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