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The issue of water availability, water conservation in wet processing, wastewater discharge, the circular economy and the rise of environmental awareness in India will dominate this year’s Planet Textiles Summit on sustainability on 24th May at the JW Marriot Hotel in Bangalore, India.

Speakers at this year’s event will include the Indian Government’s Textile Commissioner, Dr Kavita Gupta, will make an opening address at this year’s Planet Textiles Summit to be held in Bangalore on 24th May.

Known for her engagement and interest in environmental issues in relation to India’s vast textile industry, Dr Gupta will use her opening address to outline some of the key approaches and new challenges that the Indian Government will help the textile industry to address going forward as it continues a rapid growth trajectory.

The value of the Indian textiles industry, is currently estimated at around US$ 108 billion, but is expected to reach US$ 223 billion by 2021, according to the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) – a trust established by the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. The textile industry is the second largest employer in India after agriculture, providing employment to over 45 million people directly and 60 million people indirectly – and has faced many environmental challenges during its growth.

Also speaking, will be Manoj Gulati, Executive Director, India, of the international NGO, which was co-founded by actor Matt Damon and which has so far positively transformed more than five million lives around the world through access to safe water and sanitation.

In 2015, Spanish apparel retailer Inditex allocated €3.7M to to help improve access to safe water and sanitation in developing areas. The money provided more than 33,000 microloans which benefitted over 160,000 people in Bangladesh and Cambodia. In January this year, Inditex chairman and CEO, Pablo Isla, met with founders Matt Damon and Gary White, at Davos in Switzerland to reaffirm the Spanish apparel retail giant’s commitment to the NGO.

Wastewater solutions

One of the key environmental issues for India’s textile sector surrounds wastewater treatment, pollution and remediation, an issue which has also been a massive issue for the global textile sector at large. As an international event taking place in India this year, Planet Textiles will also hold a special breakout session on wastewater in the textile sector featuring Sajid Hussain, Chief Operating Officer of Tamilnadu Water Investment Co. Ltd, a company which was instrumental in the zero liquid discharge (ZLD) initiative in Tirupur – a city at the epicenter of India’s knitted fabric sector.

Sajid will discuss experiences of the ZLD project and possible ways forward including the development of policy framework, and challenges such as how ZLD can mean the generation of hazardous solid wastes, which pose new disposal challenges for the global textile sector.

He will be joined on the panel by Stefan Seidel, Head of Corporate Sustainability at Puma Group who will also flag up the work of the ZDHC’s wastewater discharge initiative and how brands and retailers and the textile industry in general can roll out these guidelines across the whole sector.

Reliance and Ellen McCarthur Foundation confirmed

Delegates at Planet Textiles 2017 will also hear a unique insight from polyester textile giant Reliance Industries – which in addition to its polyester manufacturing arm, also has 3,300 retail outlets across India.

Middle class consumer spending in Asia-Pacific is expected to outstrip the rest of the world in the next decade, which is fuelling phenomenal growth in the Indian retail industry. “This is expected to result in the sector doubling in value from 2015 to 2020,” according to Gunjan Sharma, CMO, Reliance Polyester Sector, which is the world’s largest integrated polyester fibre producer, who will also give delegates an appraisal of how the company is addressing the issues of carbon and water footprints as well as supply chain traceability.

Reliance also manufactures the PET chips that are used to make bottles and recycles the same bottles back into textile fibres, thus closing the loop, which will also be a feature at this year’s event thanks to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Sven Herrmann, senior project manager at the UK-based global charity will reveal details of its latest work on textiles and the circular economy, which relates directly to the global apparel sector and its supply chain.

Meanwhile, James Carnahan, Head of Sustainability at textile chemical specialists Archroma will lead and moderate a special breakout session on environmental issues in the textile wet processing sector regarding the production and use of textile chemicals and dyes and water use and conservation.

Also, contributing will be Rainer Zah, Managing Director of Quantis International, Switzerland. Delegates will learn about the future of metrics for sustainable apparel and how to reliably measure environmental impact.

Quantis is currently building the World Apparel & Footwear LCA database (WALDB) – a pre-competitive consortium with leading organizations and companies from the apparel and footwear sector (e.g. LVMH, SAC, Hugo Boss) to deliver robust data for environmental impact assessment and foot-printing. 

ZDHC participation

Planet Textiles delegates will also hear from a special session run by the ZDHC, which will also partner with the event to reveal new work and include new results from some important pilot projects on water use and wastewater discharge guidelines in textile mills dotted across the globe.

The event which is being co-organised by MCL News & Media and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition will also feature a special breakout session hosted by the ZDHC Group. At the event, the ZDHC will reveal results of pilot testing from studies at textile mills that have adopted its pioneering wastewater discharge guidelines. The ZDHC hopes that brands and retailers will roll out these guidelines across their textile supply chains worldwide.

Naturally, water use in cotton agriculture will feature heavily at the event given its location in India, which is the world’s largest cotton producer and accounted for 5.7 million metric tonnes in 2015/16, according to figures from Cotton Inc. Shreyaskar Chaudhary, the CEO and owner of cotton textile conglomerate Pratibha Syntex will talk about  how his company has undertaken a holistic approach to reduce water consumption at factory and the farm by tackling challenges existing in current textile products and manufacturing processes.

In 2005, Pratibha Syntex, which also has an extensive organic cotton programme, was awarded the GLASA (Global Leadership Award in Sustainable Apparel) by the Sustainable Fashion Academy based in Stockholm.

This year’s event partner will be leading wood-based cellulosic fibre supplier Lenzing, which will unveil its latest sustainability report to delegates in Bangalore. It will also flag up new ground-breaking developments such as the launch its ‘Refiber’ lyocell which is 20 per cent derived from recycled cotton waste.

The event is also being sponsored by the independent textile standard Oeko-Tex, the ZDHC, Covestro, Archroma, Proviera, Bureau Veritas and is being supported by Messe Frankfurt and The Dyestuffs Manufacturers Association of India (DMAI), which will help to promote the event to the vast Indian textile sector.

“From 2017, Planet Textiles will focus more strongly on the implementation and practical side of ‘sustainability’ in the textile supply chain with real-world case studies and examples of best practise,” said John Mowbray, editor of Ecotextile News magazine and founding director of event co-organiser MCL News & Media. “Over the past decade, a plethora of events have emerged on sustainability in the textile supply chain, but very few of them have dealt with practical solutions or examples of tangible change – yet this type of ‘hands on’ approach is needed now more than ever if we are affect real industry change.”

Planet Textiles takes place the day following the two-day annual Sustainable Apparel Coalition members meeting and includes an exhibition space for solutions providers.

 To book your delegate place, visit:

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  • Thursday, 08 October 2020

    New partnership aims to improve supply chain transparency Premium Article

    STOCKHOLM - Swedish start-up Material Exchange Ventures has announced a new partnership with the Hong Kong testing service, Eurofins Softlines and Leather, to provide greater transparency in fashion supply chains. The partnership combines the…
  • Thursday, 08 October 2020

    Zalando reacts to demand for sustainable fashion Premium Article

    BERLIN – European fashion platform Zalando says it is accelerating its efforts to meet the needs of the growing number of its customers demanding more sustainable fashion. The online retailer has increased the number of items classed as…
  • Thursday, 08 October 2020

    Remake: CFS+ lineup lacks worker representation Premium Article

    COPENHAGEN – Ahead of next week’s virtual Copenhagen Fashion Summit (CFS+), workers’ rights organisation Remake has called for greater representation of those in fashion supply chain’s in the conference’s programme. “Organisers boast that this…
  • Thursday, 08 October 2020

    Pandemic has 'cost garment suppliers US$16bn' Premium Article

    PENNSYLVANIA - Brands and retailers have refused to pay suppliers for more than $16 billion of orders since the outbreak of COVID-19, according to analysis of newly released import data. The Center for Global Workers’ Rights (CGWR) and the Worker…
  • Thursday, 08 October 2020

    Tommy Hilfiger to pilot resale service Premium Article

    AMSTERDAM – Tommy Hilfiger, a PVH company, has announced the launch of a new circular offering called Tommy for Life. First to launch in the Netherlands before it’s rolled out across Europe next year, the service encourages consumers to return their…
  • Thursday, 08 October 2020

    Mango publishes list of Tier 1 suppliers Premium Article

    BARCELONA – Fashion brand Mango has become the first in Spain to publish a list of all Tier 1 suppliers used this year. Its actions fulfil the requirements of the Transparency Pledge Standard, an initiative launched by a coalition of nine employment…
  • Wednesday, 07 October 2020

    Bestseller criticised over order discounts Premium Article

    WASHINGTON DC - Danish brand Bestseller has been criticised by workers' rights campaigners who claim the company demanded a 10 per cent discount from suppliers on some orders that were in production at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Worker…
  • Wednesday, 07 October 2020

    Klopman joins UN Global Compact initiative Premium Article

    FROSINONE – Italian workwear manufacturer Klopman has joined the United Nations Global Compact agreement, an initiative which aligns members in support of the organisation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The goals are oriented towards the…
  • Wednesday, 07 October 2020

    EU fund disperses US$4bn in Myanmar, but problems persist Premium Article

    YANGON – The European Union has offered an update on the performance of its Rapid Response support fund, which it launched in April to provide aid to workers in Myanmar’s garment manufacturing industry, and says that thus far upwards of US$4bn has…
  • Wednesday, 07 October 2020

    Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group to sue BGMEA? Premium Article

    DHAKA - Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group (EWM Group) is considering legal action against the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) over claims it owes manufacturers £27 million in unpaid bills. The retail group, owned by…
  • Wednesday, 07 October 2020

    PETA urges Frasers Group to reinstate fur ban Premium Article

    SHIREBROOK - Animal rights organisation PETA is to attend the annual meeting of the Fraser Group to call on the company to reinstate its ban on fur after retailer House of Fraser broke its pledge to stop selling it. Having bought shares in the…
  • Wednesday, 07 October 2020

    DyStar releases integrated sustainability report Premium Article

    SINGAPORE - Textiles chemical supplier Dystar has announced the release of its Integrated Sustainability Report for 2019–20. The company adopted an Integrated Reporting (IR) framework for the report which it says enables it to better communicate…
  • Tuesday, 06 October 2020

    Viscose linked to Borneo deforestation Premium Article

    JAKARTA – April Group, the Indonesian sister company of viscose fibre supplier Sateri has been warned by a coalition of NGOs, including Greenpeace and Rainforest Action Network, not to use wood from recently deforested peatlands in Borneo to make…
  • Tuesday, 06 October 2020

    REACT Project to reveal research results Premium Article

    BRUSSELS - The REACT Project, which is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Programme, is to present the preliminary findings from its research into the removal of finishing chemicals from acrylic textiles. The results will be announced at an…
  • Tuesday, 06 October 2020

    Can farm tours change fashion’s perspective on mulesing? Premium Article

    SYDNEY – An Australian wool grower and the developer of pain relief medication Tri-Solfen, Chick Olsson believes Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) should facilitate more brand and retailer farm tours, as to debunk the animal welfare stigma…
  • Tuesday, 06 October 2020

    Fruit of the Loom outlines sustainability strategy Premium Article

    BERKSHIRE – American apparel retailer Fruit of the Loom has published its first annual sustainability report, timing it alongside the launch of a new company strategy which will address the environmental impact of its global operations. Outlining…
  • Tuesday, 06 October 2020

    Fairtrade secures COVID-19 funding for cotton farmers Premium Article

    LONDON - The Fairtrade Foundation has secured €80,000 (US$95,000) in funding to provide food and income security for smallholder cotton farmers fighting the impact of COVID-19 in India. The money has been put up by the German development agency,…
  • Tuesday, 06 October 2020

    H&M launches sustainable denim collection Premium Article

    STOCKHOLM - H&M has launched a new denim collection on the back of its participation in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Make Fashion Circular initiative. H&M Jeans Redesign, made from up to 35 per cent recycled cotton from post-consumer waste, will…
  • Tuesday, 06 October 2020

    Consumers lack trust in brand sustainability claims Premium Article

    LONDON – New research concludes that just one fifth of consumers in the UK trust the sustainability claims of fashion brands, and think companies should do more to authenticate such assertions. Findings of ‘The Knowledge is Power – Consumer Trust in…

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