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How textile manufactures can help retailers achieve their sustainability goals

India’s textile manufacturing industry is charting revolutionary terrain with a refreshingly sustainable outlook towards all aspects of the business. Leading textile manufacturers in India are adopting the sustainability route, in line with the country’s evolving environmental goals and this is enabling retailers to achieve their sustainability targets as well. 

It is not just about using organic materials and ensuring better working conditions. The entire textile manufacturing procedure encompasses various stages which involve usage of resources like energy, water and more. The retailers lie at the end of the value chain as the consumer interface. They are more clued into the customer preference quotient. Hence, a sustainable push at the end of textile manufacturing companies is giving them a much-needed boost above all else. 

How sustainability 2.0 is propelling textile manufacturers in India

Textile manufacturing in India is following a blueprint that can be called Sustainability 2.0. This encompasses multiple steps although some of them can be listed as below: 

  1. Making use of organic and more sustainable raw materials. 
  2. Limiting usage of chemicals and artificial agents. 
  3. Ensuring better working conditions. 
  4. Optimizing resource usage, conserving water and energy among other vital resources. 
  5. Taking steps towards information dissemination, awareness and up-skilling for worker communities. 
  6. Negating health risks for workers and end-consumers. 
  7. Ethical and responsible procurement. 
  8. More sustainable product design with optimal consumption of resources. 
  9. Reuse and recycling of fabrics. 
  10. Lower carbon footprint and emissions from manufacturing facilities. 

Textile manufacturing companies in India are also looking at optimizing their production processes, with a view towards minimizing wastage. With a clear trend towards slow fashion or using recyclable and eco-friendly materials in the consumer space, retailers are naturally helped by these steps taken by textile manufacturing companies. They are able to present allergy and risk-free sustainable products to customers which helps them meet their own sustainability goals. They can sell products which limit wastage and measures taken to optimize logistics and transportation (lower carbon footprint) by these companies also help retailers sell low-emission products to end-consumers. 

The end goal is lower energy consumption and smarter products naturally enable the fulfillment of retailer goals in this regard. Companies are also looking at innovating to lower the usage of chemicals during the finishing process, making it more sustainable and also reducing the need for using fresh water. Many textile manufacturing entities are now adopting a farm-to-fabric model through better farming practices and more awareness in tandem with making use of technology and innovation to optimize resources at the cultivation level itself. 

Some are committing towards recycling packaging materials while they are also taking care of post and pre-consumer waste. In this way, a lot of the sustainability targets are met at the manufacturer’s end, leaving the retailer free to disseminate awareness regarding sustainable products and fabrics, while staying on the right side of the optimal energy usage blueprint as well. Welspun India, for instance, is already executing a widespread sustainability blueprint. It is already reducing water usage and also promoting recycling of the same, adopting sustainability best practices at its manufacturing facilities, empowering entire communities and educating them on conserving natural resources, and also lowering its environmental burden through its BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) and also by using other organic and more sustainable materials. Welspun is looking at infusing sustainability into the entire ecosystem, supply chain, resources, products and their life cycles, governance, people and communities, and all other essential components. 

Being one of the world’s biggest textile producers and exporters, India needed a forward-thinking blueprint to drive the sustainable manufacturing mission. It has now relied on innovation and technological expertise to drive future progress.