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Published on Wednesday, 03 May 2017

Wastewater under spotlight at Planet Textiles

Written by John Mowbray

BANGALORE – In certain manufacturing regions of the global textile and clothing sector, water has often been viewed as a burden for disposal once it has been used in the production process. But with rising water scarcity in many regions, this is changing, and the importance of wastewater collection, treatment and reuse is steadily being recognised as a crucial piece in the jigsaw when it comes to sustainable textile manufacture.

Four breakout sessions at the upcoming Planet Textiles in Bangalore, India on 24 May will refer to this important issue and how this wastewater can be reclaimed and reused under circular business model principles. A recent UNESCO report estimated that well over 80 per cent of wastewater worldwide (over 95 per cent in some developing countries) is released into the environment without treatment.

Sajid Hussaid, COO, Tamilnadu Water Investment Co, who was instrumental in the Zero Liquid Discharge Project in Tirupur will lead a session on textile wastewater and speak about some of the challenges he faced implementing this initiative in Tirupur dyehouses.

These include the lack of a policy framework, technology issues and how water scarcity, water economics and regulatory pressure – the main drivers of ZLD – ultimately determine financial viability.

Other panel members on this session include: Stefan Siedel, head of sustainability, Puma; Flaviano Bianchini, founder & director, Source International; Jayakumar Gopalakrishnan, head of sustainability, Pratibha Syntex and Rainer Zah, managing director at Quantis International which has developed and operates the Quantis Water Database – said to be the first database generating the water footprint of any product, service, company or organisation throughout its entire life cycle.

A session run by the ZDHC Group will flag up the importance of its wastewater discharge guidelines that it aims to roll out across its member brands' supply chains. More details on this will be announced shortly.

Oeko-Tex will moderate and run a special breakout session that aims to be a guide to the changing landscape of chemical management. "Continuous adoptions and changes of chemical regulations and restrictions regarding consumer products create a global demand for practical solutions," said Martin Cieslik, head of marketing & business development at Oeko-Tex. "The reduction of chemicals of concern requires globally harmonised strategies to proactively ensure a sustainable chemical management. Delegates will learn more on strategies and impacts to successfully meet the challenges within this context of constant change."

Panellists include: Jörg Diekmann, sales director, Hohenstein Group; Dr Pankaj Desai, ‎head research & development, Colourtex Industries; Shri R. K. Dalmia, senior president, Birla Century and Ullhas Nimkar, chairman & managing director, NimkarTek.

Swiss textile chemicals specialist Archroma will run a special textile wet processing session which will feature Elaine Gardiner, sustainability manager at Pentland Brands who will represent the AFIRM Group and Mohan Seneviratne, program manager at PaCT, International Finance Corporation. A major brand is also expected to join shortly.

During this session – hosted by James Carnahan, head of sustainability at Archroma, the emphasis will be on implementation of more sustainable solution in textile dyeing and finishing and how this can be accelerated. Cost will also be an issue.

"From our perspective, we feel that long-term sustainable solutions should not cost a premium," noted Carnahan, "in fact we should aim for them to be cheaper so that we can accelerate implementation."

Meanwhile, we can also confirm that Barruch Ben-Zekry, director of sustainable raw materials at VF Corporation will join Ian Rosenberger, the CEO of Thread International to talk about a project in Haiti where plastic bottles are hand-picked and turned into fabric for the likes of Timberland.

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: www.mclnews.com/events/planet-textiles-2017


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